Woman faces manslaughter chargeA Texas woman accused of crashing a pickup onto a military base here last month, killing her passenger, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter Thursday in Cass County District Court.
By: By Mike Nowatzki, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — A Texas woman accused of crashing a pickup onto a military base here last month, killing her passenger, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter Thursday in Cass County District Court.
Mary Ann Burns, 32, of Dayton, Texas, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the Class B felony charge stemming from the Sept. 14 crash at the North Dakota Air National Guard base.
According to the police report, Burns was driving her boyfriend’s pickup when she left Taco Bell on 19th Avenue North at about 12:15 a.m. and headed north on 16th Street, which comes to a dead-end at the Guard base.
Police say the pickup left the roadway, launched into the air and crashed through the fence onto the base. Burns’ passenger, Harold Pinkney Jr., 55, of Toledo, Ohio, was declared dead at the scene.
Burns told a detective she’d been drinking before the crash, didn’t know the direction she was going and was looking for her GPS when the crash occurred, the report states.
An electronic sensor in the pickup showed it was going 64 mph in a 25 mph zone about five seconds prior to impact, the report states.
A prosecution witness testified during Thursday’s contested probable cause hearing that a preliminary breath test showed Burns had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, said Assistant State’s Attorney Cherie Clark.
Burns also entered not guilty pleas Thursday to misdemeanor charges of drunken driving and hit-and-run in connection with a separate incident in August in the 1500 block of 42nd Street South in Fargo.
Those charges allege Burns was drunk when she backed into an unattended vehicle and left the scene without leaving behind her insurance and contact information.
Burns remains in the Cass County Jail on $50,000 cash or bond. A request for reduced bail was denied on Thursday.
Mike Nowatzki is a reporter
at The Forum of Fargo Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.