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Man sentenced for Walhalla crash that killed one

WALHALLA, N.D.--A Walhalla man pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge stemming from a one-vehicle crash that flung a passenger from the car and killed him.

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WALHALLA, N.D.-A Walhalla man pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge stemming from a one-vehicle crash that flung a passenger from the car and killed him.

Heinrich Penner Fehr pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. Charges of criminal vehicular homicide and driving under the influence were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

As part of his sentence, Penner Fehr is required to make yearly presentations at public schools about the dangers of drinking and driving.

An affidavit for Penner Fehr's arrest said he rolled his 2002 Chevrolet K-1500 at 11:45 p.m. Oct. 20, 2017 when he didn't make a right-hand curve near the intersection of 105th Street Northeast and 121st Avenue Northeast about five miles west of Walhalla.

Penner Fehr told a state trooper he and 33-year-old Matthew Webster had decided to "booze cruise" around the back roads of Walhalla, and he was driving too fast before the crash, the affidavit said. Penner Fehr allegedly was slurring his speech when he talked to the trooper.

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Neither Penner Fehr nor Webster were wearing seatbelts, a North Dakota Highway Patrol report said.

Webster was thrown from the pickup and pronounced dead on scene, the affidavit said.

The plea agreement called for Penner Fehr to serve 120 days at the Cavalier County jail, followed by seven months of house arrest and two years of supervised probation. He's also required to begin an intensive outpatient program when he's released from jail.

During Penner Fehr's two years of probation, he is required to make yearly presentations at Walhalla, Cavalier and Langdon public schools about the effects of drinking and driving.

He's also required to write a letter to Webster's family expressing his remorse within 30 days.

The maximum penalty for negligent homicide is five years in prison.

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