A Hennepin County judge sentenced a Blaine minister to 48 months in prison for gross negligence in the 2018 wrong-way crash that killed a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher on her way to work.
Richard John Morie Shaka, who will turn 74 at the end of May, was sentenced as part of a plea deal dismissing two other felony charges.
The crash occurred around 8 p.m. on February 17, 2018, when Jenna L. Bixby, who was 30 at the time of the crash, was on her way to work in Minneapolis as a 911 dispatcher from her home in Nowthen. The criminal complaint stated that traffic camera footage showed Shaka driving northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 282 in Brooklyn Park just prior to the head-on crash that killed Bixby at the scene. During Shaka’s March guilty plea hearing he also admitted to being drunk at the time of the crash despite the plea bargain agreeing to dismiss two other felony charges involving drunk driving.
A blood test at the hospital following the crash revealed that then 72-year-old Shaka’s blood-alcohol content was .16 during the crash.
Shaka agreed to plead guilty in March to one felony count of criminal vehicular homicide while operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner. In exchange for the guilty plea, offered by Hennepin County prosecutors and agreed to by Judge Kathryn L. Quaintance, two other felony charges involving criminal vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol were dismissed in the case.
Shaka, who is the founder of All Nations Christian Assembly church in northeast Minneapolis, will receive credit for fourteen days already served in custody, and will likely serve about 32 months in prison under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, with the remainder of the sentence being served on supervised release.
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