RED WING — A Rochester man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of criminal vehicular homicide after a passenger in his car died in March in a crash.
Dustin Lee Hicks, 34, pleaded guilty in Goodhue County District Court to felony criminal vehicular homicide-operate a motor vehicle -- alcohol concentration 0.08 or more within two hours of driving, according to court records. No sentencing agreement was presented to the court, according to the petition to enter a guilty plea.
Hicks was also charged with felony criminal vehicular homicide-operate a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating substance and gross misdemeanor offenses of driving after cancellation and driving while under the influence of alcohol, as well as a petty misdemeanor failure to drive in a single lane.
Hicks has been held on bail since March 29. Judge Lawrence Clark set unconditional bail at $150,000 and conditional bail at $50,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8 by Judge Leslie Metzen.
Goodhue County Sheriff’s deputies were called in the early morning hours of March 27 to the 29000 block of County 6 Boulevard in Featherstone Township for a report of a car in a ditch, according to court records.
When deputies arrived, they found a Chevrolet Cobalt in the east ditch of County Road 6 facing towards the road in an east-to-west direction with severe damage, court documents read. A woman was lying on her back on the ground near the vehicle.
A man, later identified as Hicks, made a comment to the deputy that he thought the woman, 35-year-old Krista Koblitz, of Rochester, was dead. Red Wing Ambulance determined that Koblitz, who had been ejected from the vehicle, was deceased.
When Hicks spoke with deputies on scene, he said he was drinking, driving and had swerved for a deer and overcorrected.
“Hicks admitted to consuming marijuana all night and consuming alcohol,” court documents read. “Hicks stated he had some beers, two Seagram’s seven and marijuana. Hicks stated the car flipped when he swerved for the deer, and possibly rolled three times.”
A preliminary breath test indicated Hicks had a breath-alcohol content of 0.202. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.
Hicks agreed to be interviewed later that day at the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center and again admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking.