SAINT PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota man who killed a teenager while driving drunk in 2006 was back in jail, Tuesday. The Minnesota State Patrol announced the arrest of Anthony Klecker,32, of Shoreview for possible felony charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest in an incident on I-94 just north of the Lowry Tunnel in Minneapolis.
At 2:20am, Tuesday, State Patrol spokesperson Captain Matt Langer says Klecker rear-ended another vehicle in the middle northbound lane of the expressway. Two State Troopers were nearby, having stopped to assist another vehicle disabled on the roadside.
When one of the Troopers approached the accident scene, the driver of the rear-ended car told the Trooper that the man who had hit his vehicle was running away. Langer says the Trooper sprinted after the man, later identified as Klecker and tackled him. There was a scuffle during which the other Trooper tasered Klecker and subdued him.
A breath test at the scene confirmed the use of alcohol. Klecker's blood was sampled for a final determination.
Klecker was convicted in Dakota County for leaving a southtowns bar and driving drunk, hitting a car driven by Deanna Casey, 16, of Inver Grove Heights.
Klecker pleaded guilty in February 2007, to one count of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Casey. Klecker was driving drunk when he hit a concrete lane barrier on I-494 in October 2006 and jackknifed the slab into the path of an oncoming car. Deanna Marie Casey was returning home from a night shift at McDonald's in Cottage Grove when she was severely injured by the barricade. The girl was then killed in a chain-reaction crash with a passing semi.
Klecker pleaded that he was an Iraq War Veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was given just one year in jail and required to complete an alcohol program at the Saint Cloud V.A. Hospital.
Klecker failed to complete the program because he was fighting with other participants and pulled a switchblade knife. He was dismissed from the program. In violation of his release conditions, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison, minus the year he had already served.
Klecker was released from prison in January of 2010. At the time of Tuesday's accident he was driving with a revoked license. The ownership of the 1988 Ford Mustang he was driving is not clear. It is not registered in his name.
Catherine Casey, Deanna's mother, spoke at the State Patrol offices in Saint Paul about Klecker. "As a mother who lost her only daughter, I would wish that he could go to prison for the rest of his life, but that is not the reality. The reality was that he could only get a maximum of 57 months."
Casey, who is a Minneapolis Police Officer, called for tougher penalities for drunk driving. "Way too many people are killed on our roads. The year that Deanna was killed, 166 people died on Minnesota roads."
Langer shared Casey's frustration. "I do not know what you can do to get someone to learn from their mistakes. In this case, you have someone who killed a girl when he was drunk, was convicted, sentenced and went to prison and then six months after he is released, he is out doing it again."
Charges against Klecker are expected Wednesday or Thursday morning.
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