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A Blaine motorist who struck a woman who was walking her dog along a road last fall has pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular manslaughter.

John R. Jones, 31, was initially charged with criminal vehicular homicide in Anoka County District Court in connection with the hit-and-run death of 56-year-old Bridget O'Keefe Dunn, who was hit along NE. 109th Avenue near NE. Flanders Court in Blaine on Oct. 25.

John R. Jones
John R. Jones

Anoka County jail

Under the conditions of the plea, Jones would serve one year in the workhouse and six months on probation.

If the case had gone to trial and he'd been convicted of vehicular homicide, he faced up to 10 years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 24.

When arrested, Jones told police he thought he'd struck either a dog or a sign and not a person before leaving the scene. He was driving that afternoon even though his license was suspended, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

In an October interview, Dunn's husband, Chris, expressed concerns about safety on 109th Avenue. The two-lane road has no sidewalk or trail, and drivers routinely travel at 65 or 70 mph even though the speed limit is 55 mph.

Bridget Dunn owned Body Sense Pilates and Wellness Studio.

Dunn said he learned she had been walking on the shoulder with their dog, Sully, who made it home after the crash.