Otsego man enters Alford plea in drunken driving crash that killed 12-year-old

An Otsego man on Tuesday entered an Alford plea for the drunken driving crash that resulted in the death of a 12-year-old last July, according to court documents.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant pleads guilty while maintaining their innocence.

The court register for 37-year-old Austin Mehlhoff Copsey shows he will learn his prison sentence on May 2.

Copsey originally faced one count of criminal vehicular homicide for operating a vehicle in a negligent manner under the influence of alcohol. An amended criminal complaint includes a second count of criminal vehicular homicide while driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) above the legal limit.

Each charge carries a 10-year maximum sentence.

As previously reported, investigators determined Copsey crashed while driving an ATV late at night in Otsego to pick up his daughter and bring her to a neighborhood party.

A neighbor’s security camera captured the vehicle veering off the road and rolling in the ditch.

The 12-year-old, who emergency personnel declared dead at the scene, was riding as a passenger.

Both a breathalyzer test and blood test showed Copsey’s BAC at the time was at least twice the legal limit, according to the amended complaint.