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Cloquet Woman Gets 6-Year Sentence, Family Shares Testimony

Updated: 04/14/2014 10:38 PM
Created: 04/14/2014 4:19 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

It was an emotional day in a Carlton County courtroom. A judge sentenced a Cloquet woman for killing two men while driving under the influence of methadone.

Family and friends of Mitch Lingren and Zach Gamache packed the courtroom Monday when Vanessa Brigan was sentenced to six years in prison.

"We felt like this was a fair outcome," Asst. Carlton Co. Attorney Jesse Berglund said.

Before the sentence was handed down, family members spoke. Other people wrote letters and a county worker read them out loud. Emotions were high as people shared testimony at the podium.

Gamache's girlfriend Bridget Karp spoke at the sentencing hearing. She works for the Carlton County Sheriff's Office and was working the day of the crash.

"On a day I was protecting and serving, I couldn't protect the man I loved most," Karp said.

Karp said the two planned to get married at Target Field. She said instead of picking out wedding attire she ended up picking out clothes for a funeral.

Lingren's wife also spoke.

"I also stand here completely broken and lost," Angie Lingren said.

Lingren said their two children are also grieving. She said her husband's death has affected her son's school work.

Before handing down the sentence, the judge also addressed the courtroom.

"This case reinforces the impact of crime on families and communities," Judge Dale Harris said.

Brigan also spoke to the courtroom Monday with emotion.

"I just want everyone to know I'm truly sorry," Brigan said. "I wish they would forgive me."

With good behavior, Brigan could only serve four years.

She also was ordered to pay a $50 fine. There is still 30 days for restitution to be figured out.

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