Stewartville Area Woman Avoids Prison For Fatal Crash
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Stewartville area woman's sentence for causing a fatal traffic crash two years ago does not call for any prison time if she can stay out of trouble.
39-year-old Sarah Sexton was found guilty in August of four felony charges, including second-degree manslaughter, criminal vehicular homicide, and criminal vehicular operation for causing the death of 68-year-old Joan Hodge and seriously injuring 69-year-old Duane Hodge when she drove through a stop sign and smashed into the rural Stewartville couple's vehicle on October 17, 2017. During her trial, Fillmore County prosecutors presented evidence showing she was using her cellphone to take photos of the sunset just before the deadly crash.
In granting her a downward departure of state guidelines, the judge in the case sentenced Sexton to 10-years probation but also ordered her to spend 45 days in jail beginning later this month on the second anniversary of Hodge's death. She will also have to return to jail and serve 7 days behind bars each year for the next 9 years to mark the anniversary. Her sentence also includes a 58-month stayed prison term that Sexton could be ordered to serve if she fails to meet the terms of her probation.
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