Burnsville teen sentenced for high-speed crash that killed two

Driver will spend next two anniversaries of accident in jail

An 18-year-old Burnsville man received an unusual segmented sentence for a crash that killed two of his friends last year.

Joshua Decoteau will serve 60 days in the Juvenile Service Center and an additional 10 days in the Dakota County Jail on the anniversary of the deaths in 2014 and 2015. He was also sentenced to perform 100 hours of community service.

Decoteau was 17 and a newly licensed driver when he took four friends on a high-speed cruise of up to 96 mph before he lost control, crashing the car through a fence next to Buck Hill Road in Burnsville and flipping it several times before it landed on the southbound lanes of I-35.

Alesha Roehl, 17, of Castle Rock Township, and Frederick Alexander, 16, of Burnsville, died in the crash.

Two boys, a 16-year-old Lakeville resident and a 17-year-old Burnsville resident, were injured.

Decoteau was sentenced in juvenile court under Minnesota’s extended juvenile jurisdiction statute, which provides a stayed adult prison sentence and extends the juvenile court’s jurisdiction over the case until he reaches 21.

Decoteau pleaded guilty earlier this month of two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide (involving gross negligence), one felony count of criminal vehicular operation (involving gross negligence resulting in substantial bodily harm), and one gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation (involving gross negligence resulting in bodily harm).

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said he was “pleased that the driver accepted responsibility for his dangerous behavior, which caused two deaths and other injuries.”

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