2nd person charged in fatal Glenville crash
A second person is now facing charges in the August crash on the road near the Glenville beach that killed an Albert Lea teenager and seriously injured another from Twin Lakes.
Shelby Luv Watkins, 20, of Alden faces charges of aiding and abetting criminal vehicular homicide and aiding and abetting criminal vehicular operation, both felonies.
Freeborn County court records state Watkins reportedly allowed her boyfriend, Dominik Boots-Ringoen, 18, to drive her 2002 Ford Taurus the night of the crash, even though she knew he didn’t have a valid license and that he had a previous DWI charge.
Court documents state Watkins also sat on the ledge of the passenger window and was hanging out of the car as Boots-Ringoen began drifting on the road, a technique in which the driver intentionally oversteers to cause a loss of traction, causing a vehicle to drift sideways.
The car was heading southbound on 795th Avenue when Boots-Ringoen reportedly lost control of the car and struck a tree.
The crash killed 17-year-old passenger James Joseph Amarosa III and severely injured Cameron Michael Cunningham. Watkins and another passenger were also injured.
Court documents state video obtained from a person who lives near the crash showed the car driving at a high speed down the roadway shortly before the time of the crash. Watkins can also be seen in the video hanging out of the front passenger window as the vehicle speeds down the road.
Watkins in an interview in October with a Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office deputy said Boots-Ringoen had called her the afternoon of the crash asking if she would pick him up from a friend’s residence. He reportedly asked her if he could go “clip” the Glenville Beach road. “Clip” in that context referred to cruising the road, she said in the interview, and said she would “clip down” the road about three times a week.
Boots-Ringoen was charged right after the crash with one count of criminal vehicular homicide-operate a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner, one count of criminal vehicular homicide-operate vehicle with negligence and one count of driving after revocation.
Freeborn County Attorney David Walker in a hearing on Thursday stated he plans to amend Boots-Ringoen’s charges to add additional counts. As of Friday afternoon, the new charges had not yet been filed.
John Hamer, Boots-Ringoen’s lawyer, in the Thursday hearing requested his client’s bail be lowered and requested his client be allowed to leave the Freeborn County jail for dental work that he needed to be completed.
Walker said he opposed the lower bond because he did not think conditions were effective. Walker said Boots-Ringoen was out on conditions from a separate DWI case earlier in August, had a revoked license and was too young to be drinking when he was drinking and driving again when the crash occurred.
“This is frankly the nightmare scenario the court fears,” Walker said, noting someone had lost his life because of Boots-Ringoen’s drinking and driving and “extremely negligent conduct.”
Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab said though he did have concerns for public safety and noted the seriousness of the case, he reduced Boots-Ringoen’s conditional bail from $100,000 to $75,000, and ordered conditions such as GPS monitoring, random drug and alcohol testing and no use or possession of alcohol or drugs. He also allowed a furlough to allow Boots-Ringoen to complete his dental work.
Online court records show Boots-Ringoen posted non-cash bond Friday.
He is next slated to appear in court Dec. 30.
Watkins is slated to have her first appearance on her charges on Jan. 7.
Minnesota officials on Friday reported another 94 COVID-19 deaths, extending an already awful December — 699 deaths posted in the... read more