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"Sex while driving" sends Minn. man to prison for fatal crash

Mark Chalin WCCO

Mark Anders Chalin
Blue Earth County Jail via WCCO
(CBS) MINNEAPOLIS - Mark Chalin, a 24-year-old man who caused a fatal crash by driving while having sex,  was sentenced to more than four years in prison for the collision that killed two people, CBS Minnesota reports.

Chalin, of St. James, who was accused of criminal vehicular homicide, made a tearful plea for justice in Blue Earth County Court Monday. He said he would trade his life for the lives of his victims "in a heartbeat."

Authorities say that on Aug. 7, 2011, Chalin was driving a Chevy Cobalt eastbound on County Road 90 when it crashed head-on with an Oldsmobile Alero heading westbound, CBS Minnesota reports.

The driver of the Oldsmobile, 35-year-old Joanna Martin of Lakefield, and a passenger in the Chalin's Chevy, 23-year-old Amber Menezes, of Mankato, were both killed. 

Chalin claimed he did not remember anything about what led to the crash. Witnesses told investigators Menezes was straddling Chalin while he was driving, blocking his view of the road, according to CBS Minnesota.

Chalin's car slammed into Martin's vehicle at about 60 to 65 mph, investigators contend. Reconstruction of the scene shows Chalin's car crossed in front of Martin's and made no attempt to stop, the station says.

In October, Chalin took an Alford plea on on the charges against him,  which denies any wrongdoing but acknowledges the prosecution could likely prove guilt.

  • Crimesider Staff

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