BEMIDJI-A Minneapolis man received five years of probation Monday after leading a high-speed chase through the Nymore neighborhood last year.
Donald Francis Negron, 25, was sentenced to a 21-month stayed prison sentence, meaning he won't actually have to serve that time as long as he successfully completes his probation. He also will have to pay restitution of $4,400.
In addition to the charge of fleeing an officer, he also was convicted of third-degree DWI, although the judge didn't assign any additional penalties. He originally was charged with a third charge of fourth-degree property damage, but that charge was dismissed earlier in the process.
Negron initially pleaded not guilty to all three charges. He then pleaded guilty to the charges of fleeing an officer and the DWI on May 6. He declined to provide any comments during Monday's sentencing.
In the time between the chase last year and Monday's sentencing, Negron also was charged and convicted of an additional crime. In December, he was arrested when a woman came home to find Negron in her Bemidji residence. She called the police. A struggle began. An officer tased Negron during the struggle, but it ultimately took five officers to restrain Negron and remove him from the home, according to the complaint. He was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation for obstruction.
He also was unaccounted for during some of the time the charges were in motion. A warrant was issued for his arrest in early January. He was then arrested again in May.
According to the criminal complaint, Negron was driving a vehicle late Sept. 25, 2018, when an officer initiated a traffic stop since Negron's vehicle was not using headlights or taillights. Instead of stopping, Negron turned onto Fourth Street Southeast and accelerated to speeds of nearly 80 mph in a 30-mph zone and traveled for about 14 blocks.
The vehicle then hit a tree near the intersection of Fourth Street SE and Lake Avenue. The vehicle deflected 50 to 75 feet, and then crashed into a parked vehicle and a fence. Court documents said the lawn of the residence "was torn up and littered with debris in the form of vehicle parts."
Negron was one of several people in the vehicle. One of the others was injured and taken to the hospital. Two others escaped the crash and briefly hid from the police before they were found.