A 22-year-old woman has received a four-year sentence for being drunk when she slammed into a traffic pole in northeast Minneapolis in a crash that killed her best friend sitting next to her.
Delaisha Kenfield of Coon Rapids was sentenced in Hennepin County District Court after pleading guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the crash that killed Asia A. Brown, 21, of Brooklyn Park on May 29.
Kenfield will serve the first two years and eight months of her term in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Before sentencing, defense attorney James Heuer argued for his client to receive no prison time and be put on five years' probation.
Heuer cited Kenfield's lack of a criminal record before the crash, her cooperation with law enforcement and the support of her best friend's grieving family expressed in letters submitted to the court by Brown's father and three cousins.
"The friends and family are requesting that Ms. Kenfield not be sent to prison, but rather be allowed to complete a probationary period to learn from her mistake and to allow her to live a productive life," Heuer wrote to Judge Nicole Engisch. "What remains for Delaisha Kenfield is starting over; to do good with what is left of her gift of life, and to honor the dead."
A witness told police at the scene that she saw Kenfield speeding east in her car on NE. Lowry Avenue toward the intersection with Grand Street about 2:50 a.m. She then drove around two cars that were stopped and swerved into the pole, according to the criminal complaint.
The impact killed Brown, and left Kenfield injured and unresponsive.
Kenfield's blood alcohol content was measured at the hospital less than three hours later at 0.128%, more than one and a half times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.