November 23, 2016 08:19 AM
A woman who was convicted of careless driving when she hit and killed a bicyclist in April 2015 was sentenced Tuesday.
Twenty-six-year-old Emily Givens of Prior Lake was convicted of careless driving, while a felony criminal vehicular homicide charge and a misdemeanor texting-while-driving charge were dropped.
Givens maintained she was not on her phone and was not answering, or reading text messages at the time. The judge told the courtroom that there was not enough evidence to convict Givens, beyond a reasonable doubt, of the felony charge.
On Tuesday, Givens was sentenced to 30 days at the McLeod County law Enforcement Center and will be on probation for one year.
The crash killed Penny Verdeck of Glencoe, who was a 40-year-old wife, mother of two and community leader.
Several people were not happy with a 30-day jail sentence.
"I am disappointed but respect the judge's decision and it really does not matter because none of it brings Penny back," said Ryan Verdeck, Penny's husband.
A forensic expert said two text messages were opened on Givens’ phone less than a minute before the deadly crash.
Attempts to reach Givens for comment were unsuccessful and her attorney did not respond to an interview request.
Givens will start serving her 30-day sentence the first week of January.
Jennie Lissarrague and Jay Kolls
Updated: November 23, 2016 08:19 AM
Created: November 22, 2016 11:18 AM
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