Plea Deal For Death of Amish Teenager in Crash Near Preston
Preston, MN (KROC-AM News) - A plea agreement has been worked out with a Hastings man to settle a list of criminal charges connected to a traffic crash in Fillmore County that took the life of an Amish teenager.
40-year-old Joseph Perry has entered guilty pleas to a gross misdemeanor drug possession charge and a misdemeanor count of driving after suspension. Under the plea deal, four other charges were dismissed, including a felony drug charge, along with misdemeanor counts of open bottle, careless driving, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the criminal complaint, Perry was driving a pickup that crashed into a horse-drawn buggy operated by 15-year-old Henry Hershberger of Harmony on a rural road near Preston on June 29, 2021. Perry told a Fillmore County Deputy that the sun was in his eyes and he was unable to swerve in time to avoid the fatal collision.
Court documents indicate Perry was driving home at the time and had two children in the rear seat of his pickup. Following the crash, a small amount of marijuana and marijuana wax was found in the vehicle.
The plea agreement recommends a sentence of one month of jail followed by two years on probation. Perry would also be given credit for any time he has already spent in jail. He will also be required to write a letter expressing his condolences to the Hershberger family, but he would not be expected to acknowledge any liability for causing the tragic crash.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in late March.