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Man Gets 36 Years For Fleeing Police, Killing 2 In Crash

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(credit: Stearns County Jail)

(credit: Stearns County Jail)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A judge sentenced a 23-year-old Waite Park man Thursday to 36 years in prison for fleeing police and causing a crash that killed one, injured a pregnant woman and forced an emergency C-section of a child who died two days later, the Stearns County Attorney’s Office said.

Judge John Scherer sentenced Timothy Richard Gilles to 432 months in prison for two counts of fleeing police in a car resulting in death and one count of fleeing police in a car resulting in great bodily harm.

Gilles pleaded guilty to the charges on April 5. His attorney argued for a lesser sentence of 288 months in prison, the attorney’s office said.

Gilles’ sentence stems from an incident that occurred April 15, 2011. On that day, around 5 p.m., Gilles — who was then 22-years-old —  was heading north in a Jeep Grand Cherokee on Highway 15 in St. Cloud when officers tried to pull him over. Police said Gilles then fled away quickly in his Jeep, traveling west on 2nd St. South, but in the eastbound lanes of the road.

Gilles admitted to reaching speeds in of more than 70 mph. The speed limit on that road is 40 mph.

An assisting Waite Park officer chased the Jeep for about a half mile, to where it t-boned another vehicle at the intersection of 2nd St. South and Waite Avenue.

The 30-year-old driver of that car, Timothy Martin Casanova of Starbuck, Minn., was killed in the impact. The 22-year-old passenger, Megan Irene Thomsen, who was 8 months pregnant, was also seriously injured.

After the crash, Gilles fled on foot. Officers caught up to him, tasered him and were able to arrest him.

He was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and was later taken to the Stearns County Jail.

Thomson and her unborn baby were taken to St. Cloud Hospital where they were listed in serious but stable condition. The baby, who was born by C-section, died on April 18, according to the attorney’s office.

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