MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 61-year-old woman has been charged in death
of a pedestrian near the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove.

According to the felony complaint, tests showed Linda Hamm had a blood alcohol level of 0.18 within two hours of the Jan. 31 incident.

Police say Hamm struck and killed Ann Blake, a mother and recent widow, after driving erratically and at high speeds. Investigators say Hamm hit a curb, drove onto a median and struck Blake, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police also found an empty 1-liter bottle of Kamchatka Vodka inside Hamm’s car at the time of the accident.

Hamm has been charged with one count of criminal vehicular homicide.

Someone reported Hamm driving erratically, according to the felony complaint. A Maple Grove police officer spotted Hamm driving eastbound on Elm Creek Boulevard at Main Street in Maple Grove. Officer Nordby pulled behind the vehicle as it approached Hemlock Lane, and witnessed the vehicle hit and kill Blake.

Hamm surrendered herself to the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center on Monday evening. She was booked and released after paying the $150,000 bail. She is to have no contact with any witnesses to the incident.

During her first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon, Hamm’s attorney told a judge she’s not competent to stand trial. Tests confirm she has dementia, following a series of seizures and aneurisms. Lawyer Frederick Goetz said Hamm didn’t even know she hit someone.

A judge ordered doctors to evaluate Hamm regarding her competency. Tests should be completed before she’s scheduled to be back in court on April 13.

According to the Osseo School District, Hamm began working in the Osseo Area Schools in 1972 as a speech therapist and at the time of the crash was working as a part-time teacher, serving as an Early Childhood program assistant. A District Spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon that Hamm is on a paid leave of absence.

Comments (39)
  1. winnie says:

    She should be charged with 2nd degree murder. When are prosecutors going to get smarter?

    1. Gary Lee says:

      Prosecutors are very sensitive to whether they are likely to win or lose. The particular charge chosen is usually based upon the available evidence, including the exact text of any confessions. In the best case the prosecutor will bring a charge on which it is certain the person can be convicted based upon the match between the undisputed facts and the letter of the law. They do not always go for the most serious or most obvious charge simply because they want to make sure the accused does not find a loophole to slip through. That doesn’t always seem like the best idea from the point of view of the punishment matching the crime, but it most often does ensure that the crime receives some punishement, rather than the accused walking away.

    2. Kevin says:


      This was a month or so ago. This guy did the same crime as this lady……and he got 90 days……..

      1. Research says:

        Yes. I’ll bet a months pay she doesn’t sit in jail for more than 4 years. Then 2 or 3 yrs probation. Get caught with distributing a pound of pot and you get the same time. May we all stop getting drunk and driving the roads we all share because it’s very apparent these laws will not increase until a lawmakers loved one is the victim. The law has been enforced over the years but not too much punishment for getting stupid and killing people.

  2. Jerry says:

    please don’t reproduce

    1. Lagerhops says:

      Those years are a long, long way up the rive she travels down.

      1. Lagerhops says:

        river…I have Disney fingers typing on a small keyboard.

        1. jackactionhero says:

          more silly excuses

  3. steVE says:

    You are all making jokes and a women was killed.

    1. winnie says:

      What’s funny about 2nd degree murder?

    2. Stacie says:

      I can’t speak for anyone else, I’m just frustrated with the way things are being handled in “the system”. I meant no disrespect to those who lost a loved one or to the victims.

    3. Enough said says:

      Thank you.

  4. Stacie says:

    Well said. Was thinking similar thoughts…

  5. Kevin says:

    Sad…..her crime was much worse than Senser……

    1. Nick says:

      This is traggic, but I don’t see how this is so much worse than Senser’s crime…they both killed.

      1. Kevin says:

        Senser was driving late at night. No proof she was drunk. The traffic was very light. This lady was smashed ……..driving in a very busy area…..during the day……kids and families are all over this area……this lady is lucky she only hit one person! It is always crowded there…..huge difference……

  6. lawbuff says:

    So somehow, she passed a public school system background check, and passed the interview, and was offered a job, which she took, working in the public school system with our kids!!!!!!!!!!!! I however, have never been a drunk, never driven drunk, I have a very clean record, but I cannot get any school district to offer me a job. OK. Maybe i should do what she does to get a job. Geezz how do these people get jobs and actually work with children!!??

    1. R III says:

      Only union teachers that have paid more then 10 years in dues are allowed to work if they are brain dead drunks.

    2. Mn has regressed to a booze/ drug state says:

      Drunks tend to have their cliques, and are rough on those who refuse to pickle themselves with booze.

  7. lawbuff says:

    She is too old to reproduce. Stay out of our schools! And schools, quit hiring these people

  8. Are We There Yet? says:

    politicians will never get serious about drunk drivers because they know most of their own might get caught drinking & driving…just one more reason to dislike these dirtbags

  9. Paul says:

    I believe this story goes well beyond alcohol. From what I see, and hear, from the information provided by the press is that this woman had mental issues to begin with. That is, should I condemn her because of her heinous act, or should I consider that long before a life was lost, she was lost herself. I’m glad I’m not on a jury in her region because she is such a easy target to hit as evidenced via the posts that are placed here on WCCO’s website. We, as a community, have been obligated to judge, yet we are NOT professionals in mental health. So, she did what she did, nothing more, nothing less. She killed another person while driving and drinking. Now, cast the first stone. Most folks these days will have absolutely no problem with that, but I still resist the urge to join up. Why? Because Dave Moore taught me as a child……I believe in wisdom of the ages.

    1. GW says:

      Granted that she lost her marbles before this incident. The question is WHERE WAS HER FAMILY ? Why did they NOT take away the keys ? Obviously she was not capable of responsible driving after strokes and aneurisms !!!…..
      DRIVING is NOT a right ! It is a responsibility…..her husband is partly at fault here for letting her drive!

      1. Sarah says:

        That is if you believe she actually did suffer the stroke/aneurisms as her attorney claims. And even if she did, there are people who make a complete recovery and have no impairment. Everyone is always so quick to blame it on everyone else. How about a little personal responsibility?

    2. sad story says:

      and shes had a job at a school working with children??!! if she has had mental issues along with being an alcoholic and suffering from mild case of demintria that school needed to terminate her employment and should not be paying her now.

  10. dawn says:

    Ok so she is not competent to stand trial because of dementia but she can work in a school as a Early Childhood Assistant? Scary, what if she does not know what she is doing with the preschoolers?

    1. MelloMommy says:

      I agree. If she is suffering dementia to the point that she could hit and kill someone while driving without being aware of it she should not have been allowed to work with young children. If you believe her lawyer that her dementia is severe then she could have easily ended up harming a young child if she forgot she had to work and got drunk just before her shift started or became disorientated and neglected or lashed out at a child. If she is not found competent then she should be confined to a nursing home or state hospital indefinitely for her own safety as well as that of the public. If her actions were caused by dementia then she has proven she is unable to exercise sound judgement and live independently anymore. If her dementia is not severe enough to make her unable to be accountable for her own actions, then she should be incarcerated.

      1. Molly says:

        Well said!!! i agree wholeheartedly!! whats wrong with those school officials that allowed this woman employment with children. all i can figure out is she must be related to someone in that particular school so everyone just let her be. very wrong!!

  11. Jay says:

    Very sad situation. This woman clearly should not have been allowed to drive! In the article it clearly states shes had strokes, which most likely is responsible for the dimentia. Families of such events should have done the right thing and taken her car away, or disabled it, so she couldnt drive. The real problem lies with the motor vehicle department in that drivers licenses have too many years before expiring and need to be renewed. A LOT can happen in that time, and drivers that suffer medical events continue to drive, untested. Doctors, hospitals and family need to report such medical issues to the DMV, and DMV has to provide some kind of an answer to keep others safe on the road.

  12. rats says:

    I feel for the law enforcement officer. He missed preventing the tragedy by seconds. It must have been an awful feeling of defeat and outrage. It must have taken all the self restraint he could muster in dealing with this woman.

  13. Jerri says:

    Lawyer Frederick Goetz said Hamm didn’t even know she hit someone. That defense only works if you’re rich

  14. Bill Clintons Cigar says:

    How come Senser had 300 comments, and this chick has like 30? Rich, hottie, hatters! This bit*h should be shot! Senser should be in my bed!

    1. Uncle Rico says:

      No outpouring for white-lawabiding-bill paying- older women. Only career criminals turning their lives around loaded on blow!

  15. pete says:

    Prohibition,the country already attempted that solution,but the drunks prevailed.The good ol USA,the freedom to drink heavily,get in your 4000 pound vehicle and end somebody’s life.And a good ol lawer and judge to give you 90 days in jail.God bless america.

  16. Uncle Rico says:

    Cause the dead person isn’t an immigrant. Just another white, bill paying, law abiding commoner, nothing for the idiots out there to prop up and use for themselves. Maybe if the lady that got hit was lit up on blow we’d see more people coming to her defense.

  17. MO says:

    Was not knowing she hit someone becasue of her blood alcohol level!!! Something is wrong with this picture.

  18. Bud says:

    And what did Senser get………

  19. very upset says:

    Are you fricken kidding me…blamming it on dementia. She knew how to put the bottle to her lips the keys in the ignition and her foot on the gas pedal. Not to mention the fact that she apparently is well enough to work with children. This lady should serve the rest of her life behind bars while looking at a picture of the two kids that she made orphans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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