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By LeAnn R. Ralph
HUDSON — A January trial has been scheduled in St. Croix County Circuit Court for a 37-year-old New Richmond man who fled from police in Glenwood City and crashed his motorcycle.
Steven Tudahl appeared in court before Judge Edward Vlack December 11 for a hearing on a motion filed by his attorney, Jeremiah Harrelson, to suppress statements Tudahl had made to law enforcement.
Harrelson filed a motion with the court to suppress statements on October 21, and Assistant District Attorney Karl Anderson told the judge that the body camera footage was missing, and depending on what the footage shows, the district attorney’s office would concede the motion.
Anderson conceded on Harrelson’s motion at the December 11 hearing since Tudahl’s statements had not been mirandized, according to online court records.
Tudahl is charged with two felony counts of fleeing an officer and causing criminal damage to property over $2,500 and two misdemeanor counts of obstructing an officer and possession of marijuana in connection with an incident that happened in Glenwood City the evening of August 26.
According to the police report, Tudahl fled from an officer, crashed his motorcycle, and when the officer arrived at the crash scene, Tudahl again attempted to flee and then drove into the passenger side of the squad car, causing a dent and a cracked windshield.
Harrelson also requested a trial and asserted a speedy trial demand on Tudahl’s behalf.
A one-day jury trial is scheduled for January 21, and a status conference in the case has been scheduled for January 4.
Tudahl remained in custody at the St. Croix County jail as of the December 11 hearing on a probation hold.
Tudahl pleaded guilty in August of 2009 to a felony count of homicide by the negligent operation of a vehicle and was sentenced to five years in state prison and five years of extended supervision, according to online court records.
In addition, the judge sentenced Tudahl to complete eight hours of community service on the anniversary of the accident each year during the years of extended supervision.
Tudahl also pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent driving causing bodily harm with a reckless driving modifier and was sentenced to one year in prison, sentence withheld, on one count, and sentenced to one year and six months in prison on the other count, along with one year of extended supervision to be served consecutively to the extended supervision on the homicide charge and one year of extended supervision to be served concurrently.
All together, Tudahl was, in effect, sentenced to serve six and a half years in prison and six years of extended supervision and was still on extended supervision at the time he crashed his motorcycle in Glenwood City.
According to news stories, Tudahl’s fiancee, Larissa Dawn Christensen, age 27, of Glenwood City, was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene after the Ford Explorer Tudahl was driving crossed the center line in March of 2009 near the intersection of state Highway 63 and county Highway S and collided with a vehicle driven by Amy Dwyer, age 26, of Clear Lake.
The news story notes that Tudahl, age 26, of Woodville, did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the accident.
Noah Dwyer, age 5, suffered a severed spine during the collision and is permanently paralyzed, while his sister, Jaydin, ended up with a broken leg and bruises. Amy Dwyer was wearing a seatbelt, and the two children were in child car seats, according to the news story.