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Kvasnicka Pleads Guilty In Fatal Crash



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The woman who drove the wrong way on Interstate 229 while drunk, hitting a car head-on and killing a Sioux Falls man, changed her plea today and could spend nearly four decades behind bars.

Thirty-one-year-old Tammy Kvasnicka is now pleading guilty to manslaughter and vehicular battery, avoiding a second trial.

Kvasnicka's plea deal calls for her to spend 37 1/2 years in prison and pay almost $200,000 in restitution.

The accident happened in July 2010. In April 2011, a jury found Kvasnicka guilty of manslaughter and vehicular homicide. She was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Kvasnicka appealed the sentence and the South Dakota Supreme Court overturned the conviction, stating a police officer's testimony should not have been used in her first trial.

Last week, Kvasnicka was back in court trying to suppress evidence.

On Thursday, for the first time, Kvasnicka admitted to driving drunk and causing the crash that killed a 27 year-old Sioux Falls man.

"Do you admit that at the time you were driving that vehicle, without design or an intention to affect the death of but through use of a dangerous weapon, that you killed a human being, namely Michael Xayavong?" Judge Robin Houwman asked.

"Yes I do," Kvasnicka replied.

"Do you also admit that at the time that incident occurred that you were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage?" Judge Houwman asked.

"Yes I was," Kvasnicka answered.

In court Thursday, Kvasnicka cried as prosecutors read the details of the crash on July 10, 2010.

Her defense is asking for a delay in sentencing.
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