Albert Lea man gets probation for February incident involving high speeds, alcohol

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

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An Albert Lea man has been sentenced to probation for an incident in February of this year, which involved high speeds, alcohol and a crash in Austin.

On Thursday, Devon McCormick Lee, 20, was convicted to three years supervised probation in Mower County District Court for each count of felony fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation bodily harm under the influence of alcohol and gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation bodily harm gross negligence.

All three sentences are to run concurrently. Five other charges were dismissed.

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On the gross misdemeanor convictions he risks 364 days in jail if he violates the conditions of his probation.

Lee was the driver of a vehicle that according to a Minnesota State Patrol report lost control and crashed into the median at around 12:02 a.m. on Feb. 7 of this year. The car also contained two passengers: 19-year-old Gavin Gene Lawson of Albert Lea and a 17-year-old unidentified male, both of whom were transported to Mayo Clinic Health Systems — Austin.

According to the court complaint, Lee, who was driving a 2016 Acura RDX, was observed by a Minnesota State trooper traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed outside of Austin. The trooper, who was traveling westbound, activated his radar and recorded a speed of 111 mph.

After the trooper initiated pursuit, speeds increased to 130 mph, however, Lawson and the juvenile said speeds reached 140 mph at one point and Lee, himself, said he was going around 145 mph when he failed to negotiate a curve and overcorrected.

The Acura crossed both lanes of travel and collided with the cement barrier with its front end, coming to a rest in the eastbound ditch at milepost 179.

A search of the vehicle revealed two 50 ml bottles of alcohol that were not open, an open 750 ml bottle of Hennessy cognac that was approximately three-fourths full and a nearly empty 750 ml bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Troopers also located a marijuana pipe and a plastic bag containing marijuana residue.

According to the court complaint, Lee also failed every sobriety test he was given.