North Dakota Man Admits Guilt in Boat Crash that Killed Minnesota Woman
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — A Grand Forks man accused in a fatal boat crash on Devils Lake has pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.
Court documents show 54-year-old Thomas Burns pleaded guilty Thursday to felony manslaughter, three counts of felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor boating under the influence.
Authorities say Burns was drunk last Aug. 9 when a boat he was operating on Devils Lake struck a tree about 30 yards from shore while traveling at more than 30 mph. The crash killed 26-year-old April Stenger, of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and injured three other passengers, including another Minnesota woman.
A sentencing date was not immediately scheduled. Burns could face more than 25 years in prison, but prosecutor Lonnie Olson tells KZZY radio that the plea deal calls for Burns to serve two years. A judge must approve.