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Sedlmeier could still face life in prison despite plea deal

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News Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to a fatal traffic crash March 24 in Mitchell could still be punished with life in prison.

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Despite a plea agreement in which prosecutors agreed to recommend Michael Sedlmeier, 46, serve no more than 40 years in prison, a judge could still give him a life sentence.

Sedlmeier pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree manslaughter and third-offense drunken driving. He had pleaded not guilty April 17 to those and other charges, but changed the plea after an agreement was reached.

Because judges are not required to follow plea agreements, Sedlmeier could still be punished with a maximum of life in prison and a $50,000 fine for the manslaughter charge.

Sedlmeier was fleeing from police and driving drunk when he crashed into another vehicle. One of the passengers in the other vehicle, 9-year-old Iszabella Morgan, died of the injuries she suffered in the crash.

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