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Speeding on way to church leads to jail

MONTEVIDEO — A woman who told a sheriff’s deputy that she was speeding because she was late for church is serving two days in jail for the offense.

Janet Brandli Stevens, 49, of rural Montevideo, was sentenced to serve two days in jail and pay fines and fees totaling $485 for going 107 miles per hour in a 55-mph speed zone. The court sentenced Stevens on March 14, ordering that the jail time be completed by April.

The complaint charges that a Chippewa County sheriff’s deputy was northbound on Chippewa County Road 6 at 10:21 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, when he saw a van traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer activated a Stalker Dual DSR in his squad and recorded the vehicle traveling at 107 miles per hour in the 55 mph zone, the complaint stated.

The officer turned around and followed the vehicle, and clocked it at 102 miles per hour. The vehicle turned west on Chippewa County Road 13 and the officer continued to follow, clocking it at 100 miles per hour on a third reading.

The officer caught up to the vehicle, activated the squad lights, and one-half mile later the driver identified as the defendant pulled over.

She told the officer she was speeding because she was late for church, the complaint stated.

The officer reported that the defendant’s record showed two previous, serious speeding offenses. The road had mud on it and was slick, according to the complaint. The officer checked “endangered’’ on the ticket, stating that the driver could easily have caused an accident at the high speeds.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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