Brainerd man sentenced for plane crash

Published 7:17 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WALKER — A 44-year-old Brainerd man has been sentenced to 240 days in jail for crashing an ultra-light plane into Gull Lake last June while intoxicated.

Jonathan Douglas Kurilla was also sentenced Monday to six years probation and fined $1,500.

Witnesses pulled Kurilla and a passenger, Estelle Paulson, from the water. Paulson was treated at a local hospital and Kurilla was arrested at a nearby restaurant.

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In court, Kurilla claimed he only consumed alcohol on the rescue boat and on shore after the crash. But a state toxicologist testified that Kurilla would have had to consume 11 shots of 100-proof alcohol to have a .24 blood alcohol concentration in the 20 minutes between the crash and when officers arrived.

The Brainerd Daily Dispatch reports Kurilla had six prior driving while intoxicated incidents.