Columbia Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Woman in Wrong Way Crash

4 years 1 month 2 days ago Monday, June 16 2014 Jun 16, 2014 Monday, June 16, 2014 9:54:00 AM CDT June 16, 2014 in News
By: Zack Newman, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Dennis Leporin, 29, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder, second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and driving the wrong way on a highway for causing the 2013 crash that killed a 19-year-old woman.

Prosecutors charged Leporin for hitting a Saturn Ion while driving a Ford Ranger pickup the wrong way on Highway 54 on March 7, 2013. 19-year-old Chelsea Frederickson was driving the Ion and was pronounced dead on the scene. The car's passenger, Jasper Richmond, was flown to University Hospital in Columbia and survived. Leporin was taken to a hospital for moderate injuries.

Leporin has a history of driving offenses. He was charged for driving while intoxicated in 2011 and for operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner in 2008.

Fredrickson's boss and coworkers at Lutz's BBQ were distraught when they heard she had died.

"She was one of those rare employees that was always happy to come to work every day," owner Burl Lutz said. "She was like a daughter to some of our employees and we are going to miss her."

Leporin's sentencing is scheduled for August 13.

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