Duluth man gets 4 years in prison in pedestrian’s death

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DULUTH — A judge has sentenced a Duluth man to four years in prison for a crash that killed a pedestrian in December.

Twenty-seven-year-old David Andrew Smithson was sentenced Monday. Judge Mark Munger also ordered Smithson to pay $7,500 restitution for the victim’s funeral expenses.

Smithson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Prosecutors say Smithson was under the influence of heroin when he struck and killed 37-year-old Brian Respler of Duluth on Dec. 19.

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Respler was walking on a sidewalk on Grand Avenue when he was struck. He died at the scene.

At his plea hearing in July, Smithson told the court that he fell asleep at the wheel. He told police he had used heroin the day before the crash.