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Brainerd woman gets 50 months for striking, killing bicyclist

WALKER, Minn. -- A 24-year-old Brainerd woman was sentenced Tuesday to more than four years in prison for fatally striking a bicyclist with her car in October in East Gull Lake.

Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie said Kerri Marie Zelinske pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to felony criminal vehicular homicide in Cass County District Court.

Zelinske admitted that on Oct. 10 she was driving south on Cass County Road 70 after consuming alcohol on a friend’s boat. She crossed the center line, striking and killing Leonard Grabowski, 57, of Brainerd, who was riding a bicycle in the northbound lane.

In exchange for Zelinske accepting responsibility for her actions, Strandlie agreed to recommend that she receive a sentence at the low end of the 50- to 69-month range under state sentencing guidelines.

Judge David Harrington sentenced Zelinske to 50 months in prison.

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.