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Man charged with DWI just months after release from prison

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Prior Lake man who went to prison after a fatal drunken driving crash in 2000 was charged Thursday with felony DWI in connection with a high-speed chase in a stolen truck early Wednesday, prosecutors said.

Ervin Morris Cook, 41, was charged with four felonies: two counts of first-degree DWI, one count of fleeing police in a motor vehicle and one count of receiving stolen property, said Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar.

He was released from prison in August and was on supervised release. After being convicted of second-degree manslaughter for the December 2000 crash that killed a 26-year-old woman in Oakdale, he was sentenced to 61⁄2; years in prison.

Klobuchar said his blood-alcohol level in that crash was 0.25 percent, more than twice the then-legal limit to drive.

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The criminal complaint filed in the current case alleges Bloomington police spotted Cook driving erratically with his headlights off about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday.

When an officer turned on his emergency lights, Cook allegedly drove onto Interstate 35 and sped north at speeds up to 95 mph. Officers eventually spun out his pickup and arrested him.

Cook allegedly apologized to officers for driving away, said he could have killed someone and said he would have stopped if he wasn't drunk.

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