Chippewa County jury finds driver in Watson crash guilty of vehicular homicide
One day before the one-year anniversary of the death of a 20-year-old victim in a motor vehicle accident, a Chippewa County jury found the driver guilty of criminal vehicular homicide and driving while impaired. Sentencing is set for September.
MONTEVIDEO — A Chippewa County jury returned guilty verdicts Thursday to both charges against Braxton Monte Anderson, 35, of Montevideo, for the motor vehicle accident that took the life of his passenger, Brittany Lynn Schulz, 20, of Appleton.
The convictions in District Court in Montevideo came one day before the one-year anniversary of her death.
The jury found Anderson guilty of felony criminal vehicular homicide for causing her death in a negligent manner with the presence of a controlled substance in his system. It also found him guilty of felony fourth-degree driving while impaired for the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine in his blood.
The verdicts were returned Thursday afternoon following a trial that included two days of testimony by witnesses for the prosecution. The defendant did not testify, and the defense did not call any witnesses, according to information from the Minnesota Attorney General's office, which assisted Chippewa County in the case.
Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 22. The criminal vehicular homicide conviction carries a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison.
Anderson was driving a 1995 Saturn which made a left turn in front of a 2007 Cadillac Escalade at 5:46 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2019, in Watson. According to court filings, prosecutors believe he was running late to meet someone and possibly looking at his phone when he made the turn, possibly into the Goose Bar.
A 2005 Cadillac Escalade crashed into the passenger side of the Saturn, causing multiple bone fractures to Schulz and trapping her and Anderson in the vehicle. Volunteer firefighters extracted the two from the vehicle.
Schulz died as paramedics performed CPR while moving her to a waiting air ambulance at the scene. Anderson was transported by ambulance to the emergency room of CCM Health in Montevideo.
Responding law officers found a glass pipe that tested positive for methamphetamine residues, a can of beer, and a baggie with a green leafy substance in the vehicle by the driver. Blood was taken from the defendant at the emergency room and it tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, according to the criminal complaint.
Court records show that Anderson was convicted of a felony fifth-degree controlled substance charge in Kandiyohi County on May 21, 2018. His driver’s license was suspended at the time of the accident.
The driver’s license of the 21-year-old driver of the SUV involved in the accident was revoked at the time of the accident for violations of no insurance and not paying fines.
Anderson told investigators when interviewed after the accident that he had no recollection of the details of the accident or whether or not he had a controlled substance in his system, according to court records.