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A 64-year-old man convicted of murder has received a 12½-year term for speeding through a no-passing zone in Mounds View while high on fentanyl and running over a woman doing yard work in front of her home.

Donald J. Harris of Coon Rapids was sentenced Monday by Ramsey County District Judge Kelly Olmstead. She found him guilty in a bench trial of third-degree murder, criminal vehicular homicide and illicit drug possession in the crash on May 25, 2021, that killed 82-year-old Mary J. Preciado.

With credit for the few days he spent in jail after the crash, Harris can expect to serve the first 8⅓ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.

A woman driving south on Long Lake Road told police she saw an SUV speed past her in the northbound parking lane, hit Preciado and flee the scene, the charges read. A police officer arrived and saw Preciado's body with fresh grass clippings and a broken plastic snow shovel nearby.

Moments later, other drivers reported seeing the heavily damaged SUV swerving and traveling on the wrong side of the road at times before it crashed into a street sign to the west in Spring Lake Park near County Road 10 and Cottagewood Terrace, the criminal complaint continued.

Olmstead wrote in a filing of her verdicts in August that Harris "admitted that he knew even before tragedy struck that what he was doing was wrong and dangerous."

Defense attorney Seamus Mahoney wrote in his closing argument that Harris was self-medicating with fentanyl and other drugs to counter years of pain in his lower back from an injury suffered while in the Army more than 15 years ago.

Harris "had unknowingly poisoned himself with [an] incredibly powerful cocktail of drugs, including fentanyl, that quickly rendered him stupefied and without physical control or coordination."