FARGO — A change-of-plea hearing has been set in the case of a Fargo father charged with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with a car crash that resulted in the death of one of his sons.
A scheduled hearing in Cass County District Court on Wednesday, Sept. 11 for Christopher L. Devine, 31, was cancelled and attorneys set the case up for a change-of-plea hearing on Sept. 23. In addition to a felony count of criminal vehicular homicide, Devine faces two charges of felony criminal vehicular injury. He pleaded not guilty to all charges in May.
The charges stem from a March 23 incident in which a vehicle driven by Devine was involved in a crash on University Drive south in Fargo.
Devine’s 7-year-old son died several days after the crash. His 5-year-old son was critically injured but recovered after a prolonged hospital stay.
When first interviewed by police after the crash, Devine took several minutes to respond to questions, according to an eight-minute audiotape of the conversation acquired by WDAY. Fargo officers had to repeat his rights and ask for his consent to a blood test several times.
In the tape, Devine tells officers he had “a lot” to drink and that he was driving “to get a pack of cigarettes somewhere.”
His blood-alcohol level was .267 percent shortly after being taken to the hospital following the crash. The legal limits is .08 percent.
Charging documents show he was driving at about 59 mph one second before the crash along a road where the speed limit is 35 mph.
Devine’s attorney, Ashely Schell, filed a motion seeking to suppress the results of Devine’s blood test, arguing that the implied consent advisory officers read to Devine after the crash did not meet the standards established by the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Judge Susan Bailey denied the motion, siding with the state because officers were able to secure a search warrant.
Phone messages left for Schell were not returned as of Wednesday afternoon.