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Jury trial underway in Pine County vehicular manslaughter case

Updated: May 24

A jury trial began last week in the case of a Rush City woman charged with vehicular homicide.

According to the criminal complaint, Pine County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch on October 15th, 2022.

The reporting party said Anastasia Nelson came to her residence and said a crash occurred nearby. The scene of the crash was the intersection of Pokegama Lake Road and Fairway Road Southwest.

Two of the vehicle’s occupants, 18-year-old Deandre Sydney and 20-year-old Kiya Johnson, were pronounced deceased at the scene. 18-year-old James Brumbaugh was found in serious condition.

Nelson claimed that she drove the car for about a quarter of a mile before pulling over due to a car flashing her. She said a woman from the second vehicle drove the car because Nelson was not sober and that Nelson rode with strangers in the other vehicle.

Law enforcement determined that Nelson was driving the car at the time of the crash, and that she exhibited signs that she was under the influence of alcohol.

Court documents say Nelson told inconsistent stories about the crash in custody.

Nelson is charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide under the influence of alcohol, and one count of criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm.

The jury trial began on Wednesday, May 15.

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