MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An Orono man accused in a crash that killed two young men in July now faces additional charges of third-degree murder.
James Blue, 51, was charged with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the July 24 crash that killed 24-year-old Sam Schuneman and 20-year-old Mack Motzko, son of Gopher men’s hockey coach Bob Motzko. The third-degree depraved mind murder charges were added on Thursday, extending his possible sentence by 50 years.
According to the criminal complaint, Orono police responded to a crash on the 3100 block of North Shore Drive just before 11:30 p.m. to find two men inside a car. Blue, the driver, had been ejected from the vehicle.
The complaint says he repeatedly said “I’m sorry” to officers, and admitted he had been drinking and was “guilty.”
The amended complaint said Blue’s blood alcohol concentration was .20 at the time of the crash, and there was THC in his blood.
Crash analysis showed that Blue was driving between 94 and 99 mph in a 35-to-45 mph area, and the brakes were used 2.5 seconds before the crash. The road, the amended complaint notes, is curvy and lined with trees.
The additional investigation revealed that Schuneman and Motzko had just met Blue that night, and were invited to his home by a mutual friend.
Video evidence allegedly shows that Blue was trying to impress the young men with the car; Blue apparently said “you guys need to live your life to the fullest because all of a sudden you blink and you’re 40 one day” to the young men before they all drove off together.
Blue turned himself into police in late July. Each count of criminal vehicular homicide has a maximum sentence of 10 years, and he could face up to 25 years in prison for each third-degree murder charge.