4/4/2014 10:14:00 AM Gesme sentenced in deadly crash
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced March 28, 2014 that Keri James Gesme, 28, Hampton Township, was sentenced on March 27 by Judge Karen Asphaug to 365 days in the Dakota County Jail (116 days served, work release if eligible), 10 years of probation with four more years at St. Cloud stayed during probation. No alcohol or substance use during probation. Also a $700 fine in connection with a crash that occurred November 8, 2012 in Hampton Township on Highway 50, just west of New Trier. The crash took the life of Dennis Paul Underwood, 27, Cannon Falls. and left Gesme severely injured.
Saying repeatedly that he had no memory of the crash and that he could not remember what happened, Gesme made a plea agreement with the County Attorney's Office to one count of Criminal Vehicular Homiucide (a felony). Two additional counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide were dismissed.
Both men in Gesme's pick-up were believed to have been drinking throughout the day and the pickup left the road at speed estimated near 100 mph before hitting trees in a yard on the south side of Hwy. 50. Both men were ejected from the truck. Gesme said he has no recollection of if he or Underwood were driving, but the County presented evidence that they said indicated Gesme was driving.
Backstrom commented: "We are pleased that the defendant accepted responsibility for his criminal behavior that took a life. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Dennis Underwood for their great loss."