Virginia man sentenced to probation for August vehicular homicide

A Virginia man has been sentenced for the death of an Eveleth woman in August.

The St. Louis County Attorney’s Office says Michael Kenneth Miller, 40, has been sentenced to seven years probation and one year behind bars for Criminal Vehicluar Homicide. The crash happened August 12, killing Joni Dahl, 39.

Miller entered a guilty plea in October, admitting that he had been out drinking to celebrate his 40th birthday. The County Attorney’s Office says at the time of the crash, Miller had a blood alcohol content of .195. The legal limit is .08.

Under Minnesota law, the presumptive sentence for a person with a criminal score of zero, like Miller, is a prison sentence of 48 months. However, St. Louis County says Miller’s attorney argued he should instead be put on probation.

At the sentencing Monday, Judge Robert C. Friday granted Miller’s request for a downward dispositional departure, meaning the Court expects Miller to be successful on probation. The presumptive sentence of 48 months is what the State requested, who opposed a probationary sentence.

St. Louis County says Miller has been placed on supervised probation for seven years, immediately serving one year in the St. Louis County Jail. Miller will also be required to serve four weeks behind bars in August, around the anniversary of Ms. Dahl’s death, according to the County.

The County Attorney’s Office is expressing its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Dahl for their loss, saying she was an active member of the community, and the impact of her death will be felt for many years to come. Ms. Dahl’s father, John Dahl, and her longtime partner, Matt Lenci, provided statements to the Court describing the impact that her death has had on themselves and their families, according to the County.