FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- Court papers say Otter Tail County Deputy Kelly Backman tested positive for fentanyl while he was in a high-speed pursuit that ended with an innocent couple being killed. He is being charged with DWI and misconduct by a public official.
He remains an employee of the county. According to county records, Otter Tail County taxpayers have paid Deputy Backman nearly $24,000 while he's been on leave.
Both charges stem from his role in a deadly crash in downtown Fergus Falls back in October.
The crash killed 72-year-old Steven Christianson and his 71-year old wife Diane when their car was hit by the fleeing suspect.
Fergus Falls police said 31-year-old Cody Frietag was allegedly going close to 80 mph through downtown after he realized a potential drug buy was really a ruse to arrest him on a warrant. He's charged with vehicular homicide.
Backman, who prosecutors say set up the operation, allegedly had three times the normal prescribed amount of fentanyl. It appears he did not have a prescription for it.
Deputy Michael Wing, who was also involved in the pursuit but dropped out when his car broke down, was suspended for 24 hours for not following the department's chase policies. He does not face criminal charges.
Prosecutors say that crash and investigation revealed Backman had been tampering with evidence in drug cases he worked.