Steidl of Dickinson sentenced in DUI charge causing death of passengerMarty Steidl of Dickinson was sentenced Monday to one year in the jail in Dickinson after being charged with negligent homicide in a 2010 motor vehicle accident that killed one of her passengers.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
Marty Steidl of Dickinson was sentenced Monday to one year in the jail in Dickinson after being charged with negligent homicide in a 2010 motor vehicle accident that killed one of her passengers.
Steidl must pay about $1,500 in court fines and fees and report to jail by 9 a.m. June 28 to begin serving her sentence. She will be granted work release and the terms will be set by the jail.
Steidl’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was .31 percent — almost four times over the legal limit, according to the criminal complaint filed in Southwest District Court in Dickinson.
Stark County’s States Attorney Tom Henning said a plea agreement reached by both parties suspended four of Steidl’s five-year sentence.
Steidl was reportedly driving under the influence in November 2010 when her Chrysler Sebring veered off the left shoulder of the road, about one-half mile north of the South Heart exit off Interstate 94.
According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the vehicle slid into the ditch and rolled, coming to rest on its roof. Passenger Danny Herauf was pronounced dead at a Dickinson hospital. Steidl and another passenger were not injured.
Herauf’s parents, George and Florence Herauf, could not be reached for comment on the sentence because their phone number is no longer in service.
During sentencing at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson, Judge William Herauf acknowledged that Steidl took the initiative and immediately placed herself in rehabilitation after the accident.
He said he hopes Steidl continues to get her life back on track.
“You took the right steps and your life is back in your hands,” Herauf told Steidl. “I can’t imagine that you can get up every morning or go by the area where the accident happened and not have flashbacks, so how much more can I punish you?”
Steidl’s attorney Thomas Murtha said he was satisfied with his client’s sentence.
After sentencing, Henning said the punishment complies with state law and takes into account that Steidl isn’t likely to be a repeat offender.
“The chance of recidivism for her was calculated at 15 percent, so I think this is a fair sentence,” he said. “There is a mandatory one-year sentence for causing death under the influence of alcohol, whether it is a charge of negligent homicide, or homicide, or DUI. In this instance, and in many instances when we see cases like this, these people don’t have any criminal records, but the law requires a mandatory one-year and we have complied with that.”