Rosemount man gets jail time in fatal hit-and-run

Eric James Hunter
Eric James Hunter

A Rosemount man who was driving a vehicle that struck and killed an Apple Valley woman on Cedar Avenue was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail.

Eric James Hunter, 44, pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving a death.

Hunter was charged in July 2009 in connection with the collision that killed 26-year-old Joan LeVasseur of Apple Valley. LeVasseur was hit by Hunter’s vehicle while crossing Cedar Avenue and 153rd Street in Apple Valley at about 9 p.m. on March 6, 2009. She died a week later at a Minneapolis hospital.

LeVasseur, who was deaf, had been running in a crosswalk, against a red light, when she was struck.

Witnesses called Apple Valley police, who found LeVasseur bleeding heavily in the northbound crosswalk of Cedar Avenue.

An investigation led police to Hunter’s home in Rosemount, where they discovered his Ford Focus had damage to the right front panels and hood. The right portion of the windshield was damaged extensively and taped over.

Police seized the vehicle after obtaining a warrant, and an examination found LeVasseur’s blood on the windshield.

According to the complaint, police interviewed several of Hunter’s co-workers, who said he confessed to being involved in the incident. Hunter’s driver’s license was suspended at the time of crash.

Hunter was charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, but a mistrial was declared in the case in October 2010 when the jury informed Judge David Knutson it was deadlocked. A retrial was scheduled, but was rendered unnecessary when Hunter entered his guilty plea.

In the sentence handed down this week by Judge Knutson, Hunter also received 30 days sentence-to-serve, three years probation, and was ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined.