MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — James Robery Lapsley of Prior Lake has pleaded guilty to a count of criminal vehicular homicide, following a single vehicle crash that killed 19-year-old Kayli Thompson in May 2018.

Thompson was a passenger in the Ford Fusion when it crashed on Interstate 35W in Burnsville. The car went off the road to the right, hit the sound wall, rolled and came to rest in a ditch.

A witness said that he was driving south on I-35W  before the crash when he observed the Fusion driving erratically. The car drove past him and out of view — by the next time he saw it after coming to the top of a hill, it was in a ditch.

Officers on scene spoke to Lapsley and observed him to have “bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech.” A sample of his blood later tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it was determined from accident reconstruction that the Fusion was travelling at approximately 83 miles per hour when it hit the wall.

Now Lapsley’s sentencing has been set for February 24, 2020.

“We are pleased this individual has taken responsibility for this tragic crime which claimed a life in our community,” Dakota County attorney James Backstom told the media following the plea.

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