April 17, 2024

A Minneapolis woman has been convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with a 2021 crash on a St. Paul interstate ramp that killed her 19-year-old passenger.

Ramsey County District Judge Reynaldo Aligada Jr. found Reshawna Eunique Mosley, 21, guilty of criminal vehicular homicide by operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and criminal vehicular homicide with negligence while under the influence of alcohol in the death of Shaterries Monique Barlow of Minneapolis on July 22, 2021. A sentencing date has not been set.

Just before 12:30 a.m., Mosley’s Kia Forte left the ramp to Interstate 35E south near Shepard Road, became airborne and crashed into a hillside, landing onto its roof. Barlow died at the scene of traumatic injuries. Mosley was transported to Regions Hospital with trauma to her head, knee and liver.

Troopers found a half-empty bottle of alcohol and small amount of marijuana in Mosley’s car, the March 2022 charges said.

Mosley waived a jury trial, and Aligada on Aug. 29 found her guilty on stipulated facts, meaning the prosecution and defense presented evidence for him to consider before he reached the verdicts.

“The court finds that Ms. Mosley drove her car in a grossly negligent manner, because the facts support a combination of egregious behaviors that rise above mere carelessness,” Aligada wrote Friday in a memorandum supporting the verdicts.

Aligada noted how Mosley admitted in an interview with Minnesota State Patrol troopers to drinking tequila before driving, telling them, “I believe I blacked out.”

Mosley also admitted to speeding and said that Barlow told her to slow down before the crash. A crash reconstructionist determined Mosley was driving 99 mph right before attempting to turn onto the interstate and at least 56 mph at the time of the crash, which “rendered her unable to negotiate the curve,” Aligada wrote. The speed limit on the ramp is 30 miles per hour.

Aligada acquitted Mosley of three other criminal vehicular homicide charges that alleged she had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of driving; was under the influence of a controlled substance; and was under the influence of a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance.

A sample of Mosley’s blood was drawn at 2:35 a.m. and showed she had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.085, the charges said. The legal limit to drive in Minnesota is 0.08 BAC. She also had THC, a component of marijuana, in her blood.

Aligada ruled that Mosley’s attorney successfully argued the competency and accuracy of the BAC result, because the test was taken more than two hours after the crash.

Aligada noted that statutes and case law does not bar prosecution from using a blood sample that was collected more than two hours after driving. However, he wrote, Mosley’s attorney “correctly argues that other than the BCA lab report with a test result, the record shows no interpretation of how a lab result taken more than two hours after driving conduct may relate to what Ms. Mosley’s BAC was during the legally relevant period of within two hours of driving.”

Aligada noted the test result included a margin of error of plus or minus 0.005 grams per milliliter of blood and he concluded the prosecution did not present evidence that interprets the mathematical significance of the lab scientist’s report data.

The judge also agreed with Mosley’s attorney that there was insufficient evidence presented to prove if or how the presence of marijuana in Mosley’s system affected her ability to operate the car.

“There is no evidence as to when the substance was ingested, or what that amount of substance in someone’s blood means as it relates to impacting their behavior,” Aligada wrote.

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