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Man pleads not guilty for charge stemming from woman's injuries

A man who is being charged with felony criminal vehicular homicide or operation for a 2010 incident that left a woman with massive head injuries pleaded not guilty last month.

James Robert Brown, 26, of Red Lake, pleaded not guilty Feb. 21. His next hearing is set for April 3.

According to the criminal complaint:

A Minnesota State Trooper responded to a report of a white Chevrolet Lumina striking a pedestrian on the side of Highway 89 near County Road 32 at around 11:20 p.m. March 5, 2010.

The trooper arrived to find the pedestrian lying face down in the road, with her head several feet from the center line. The complaint states the victim suffered "extreme head injuries and had lost a massive amount of blood on the roadway."

The caller who reported the incident told the trooper she was driving to Red Lake when she saw the Lumina, which was traveling northbound, make a U-turn and head southbound. She then reported seeing the Lumina make another U-turn and proceed northbound when it struck a pedestrian who was standing on the side of the road.

The state trooper was contacted by Red Lake law enforcement, which reported they arrested the driver of the white Lumina. The driver was later identified as Brown.

Court papers also state:

Brown told officials he was with the victim March 5 and they had been consuming shots of alcohol at nearby bar.

Brown said at around 11 p.m. he drove the Lumina to Red Lake with the victim riding as a passenger in the vehicle. He said he believed the victim exited the car at some point prior to entering the Red Lake Reservation so the victim could go to the bathroom.

Brown said he made a U-turn and picked the victim up and the two drove back to the reservation.

The complaint says Brown did not recall striking the victim with the front of his vehicle after he made the U-turn.

Brown consented to a blood test, which was sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis. Forensic scientists concluded Brown's alcohol concentration was .20 at the time the blood was collected.

The victim was transported to North County Regional Hospital and immediately transferred to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn.

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