Man, 86, pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

Published 5:50 pm Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eighty-six-year-old Marvin William Steinhauer on Wednesday pleaded guilty in Freeborn County District Court to one count of criminal vehicular homicide in connection to the death of a motorcyclist last May.

The plea came as part of a tentative plea agreement between his lawyer, Samuel McCloud, and the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office.

According to court records, Steinhauer — who was originally charged with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of drunken driving — drove through a stop sign on May 29, 2009, at the intersection of Freeborn County roads 46 and 14.

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Right after, motorcyclist Jose Ignacio Martinez-Navidad, 48, crashed into Steinhauer’s car and later died.

Records state Steinhauer’s blood-alcohol content was .08 at the time and state three witnesses interviewed by authorities said they saw Steinhauer drive through the stop sign at the intersection at approximately 55 mph.

Under the plea agreement entered Wednesday, Steinhauer pleaded guilty to the second count against him — criminal vehicular homicide — and agreed to probation, no driving and no consumption of alcohol.

The length of the probation was not specified.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab indicated he wanted to review the pre-sentence investigation and victim impact statements before accepting the plea.

Steinhauer will next appear in court June 21 at 2:30 p.m.