An Albert Lea man who was the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident on Interstate 90 in Mower County early on the morning of Tuesday, February 7th where alcohol was involved, and where two of his passengers were injured is pleading not guilty in Mower County District Court.
20-year old Devon McCormick Lee has been charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular operation, substantial bodily harm, a felony for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, two gross misdemeanor charges of criminal vehicular operation, bodily harm, plus misdemeanors for 4th degree DWI, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, open bottle and speeding, exceed 100 miles per hour and endanger person and property. The Minnesota State Patrol reported that a 2016 Acura RDX being driven by Lee was eastbound on Interstate 90 and clocked by a Minnesota State Patrol Trooper near Austin traveling at 111 miles per hour. A high-speed chase into the city of Austin then ensued that covered approximately three miles and reached speeds of up to 145 miles per hour, and Lee then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the median at milepost 179 at approximately 12:02 a.m. on the morning of February 7th. Authorities reported that Lee, who was identified as the driver of the vehicle, was taken into custody at the scene, and failed five field sobriety tests administered later.
Two passengers in Lee’s vehicle, 19-year old Gavin Gene Lawson of Albert Lea and a 17-year old male both suffered non-life threatening injuries in the accident, and both were transported to Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Austin for treatment.
Lee pleaded not guilty to the eight different charges against him during a Rule 8 hearing on February 16th, and a pretrial hearing for Lee in Mower County District Court has been scheduled for June 22nd, with a jury trial to be held on July 10th.