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Boyceville man pleads guilty to homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE   —  A 48-year-old Boyceville man has pleaded guilty to homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle in connection with the death of 54-year-old Boyceville woman in February on state Highway 79.

Todd R. Dormanen pleaded guilty to each of one felony count of homicide by the intoxicated use a vehicle and Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) causing injury in Dunn County Circuit Court August 17 during a hearing before Judge Rod W. Smeltzer.

In addition to homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and OWI causing injury, Dormanen was charged with felony counts of OWI fourth offense, homicide by the negligent operation of a vehicle, reckless driving causing great bodily harm and operating a vehicle with a prohibited blood alcohol content.

As part of a plea deal, Dormanen pleaded guilty to the felony counts of homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and OWI causing injury, and Judge Smeltzer dismissed the remaining felonies but ordered them read into the record for sentencing.

Judge Smeltzer ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set a two-hour sentencing hearing for October 22.

Judge Smeltzer declined to revoke Dormanen’s bail.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash for Dormanen March 1, and Dormanen posted the cash bail March 14.

According to the criminal complaint, Jena Anderson, 54, of Boyceville, died following a head-on collision on Highway 79 south of Boyceville in the Town of Sherman on Monday, February 12.

Anderson’s daughter, Kallie, also was injured in the crash and sustained a torn spleen, fractured ribs, and had pins placed in her foot, the complaint states.

According to the criminal complaint, at around 12:42 p.m. February 12, the Dunn County Communications Center received a 911 call from a woman, later identified as Kallie J. Anderson, who reported she had been in a two-vehicle accident, and her mother was slumped over and unresponsive.

Dispatch also reported a man came onto the line who was next to Jena Anderson and said he unable to feel a pulse or respirations.

Boyceville Police Chief Greg Lamkin was one of the officers to first arrive on the scene.

Police Chief Lamkin surveyed the accident scene and formed the opinion it appeared the Chevrolet Equinox, driven by Jena Anderson with Kallie Anderson as a passenger, had been traveling south on Highway 79, and a Kia Sorento, driven by Dormanen, had been headed north on Highway 79, according to the complaint.

The Equinox was in the ditch on the west side of the road, and when it was struck, appeared to have spun toward the ditch and came to a rest almost facing north. The Sorento was on the east side of the road, facing north, with heavy front end damage on the left.

Police Chief Lamkin reported it was clear from the point of impact the Equinox had been pulling toward the right side of the road while the Sorento had crossed the center line, according to the complaint.

Jena Anderson, Kallie Anderson and Dormanen were all wearing seat belts.

Dunn County Deputy Jason McDonald arrived at Mayo Eau Claire at around 2:15 p.m. February 12 to make contact with Dormanen.

Deputy McDonald reported a strong odor of intoxicants coming from Dormanen, and when Dormanen began to speak, the deputy observed Dormanen had slurred speech. Dormanen told the deputy he did not remember anything about the crash or what had happened. The Boyceville fire department extracted Dormanen from the vehicle, and when Deputy McDonald was at the hospital, Dormanen was wearing a cervical collar around his neck, according to the complaint.

When asked where he had been that morning, Dormanen said he worked the night shift at Phillips Plastics in Menomonie and got off work at 6 or 6:30 a.m. When asked how much he’d had to drink, Dormanen said he might have had a few beers at Tom and Jo’s Bar in Menomonie. Dormanen told the deputy he did not know if he had been with anyone at the bar and that he did not know the name of the bartender but she was about 30 years old, according to the complaint.

Police Chief Lamkin also reported over the smell of the airbag propellant and engine fluids, he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the interior of Dormanen’s vehicle, according to the complaint.

Dunn County sheriff’s deputies who arrived on the scene came to the same conclusions as Police Chief Lamkin: the Sorento driven by Dormanen appeared to have crossed the center line into the southbound lane and struck the Andersons’ vehicle. Dormanen’s vehicle appeared to have spun 360 degrees and came a rest on the east shoulder facing north, and the Andersons’ vehicle had spun 180 degrees and came to a rest in the west ditch, facing north.

The sentencing hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court on October 22 is scheduled for two hours.  

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