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Monday, March 20, 2023

St. Paul man sentenced to almost 19 years for killing pedestrian with stolen car while fleeing police

A St. Paul resident who struck and killed a man driving a stolen automobile while evading police on the city’s East Side has been given a sentence of almost 19 years in prison.

In connection with the October 2021 collision that resulted in the death of 55-year-old Brian S. Reed in the Battle Creek neighborhood, Leonie L. Sparkman, 31, was sentenced on Thursday in Ramsey County District Court after entering a guilty plea to the charge of fleeing an officer that caused death.

Sparkman could have received a sentence of up to 40 years in jail, but in July, after agreeing to seek a “middle of the box” punishment and drop two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and a theft charge, the prosecution and Sparkman negotiated a plea agreement.

Sparkman received a 225-month sentence from Judge Leonardo Castro, with credit for the 327 days he had previously spent in detention.

According to the criminal complaint, Sparkman and his girlfriend were located in a Ford Focus when police were summoned to the 100 block of Bridlewood Drive on a report of suspicious behavior on October 22 at approximately 5 p.m. They were fighting, the woman, who was weeping, claimed.

According to the lawsuit, Sparkman provided officers with a fictitious name. He fought being arrested by police and fled north on Bridlewood Drive.

The complaint states that he discovered a white Lexus warming up in a driveway. He attempted to leap in, but a cop pursued him and pepper sprayed him.

According to the lawsuit, Sparkman hopped into the Lexus and sped north on Bridlewood Drive.

Officers heard what sounded like a car collision but decided not to pursue. About three blocks away, on Valleyside Drive and Parkland Court, they discovered the Lexus after it had collided with a tree. Sparkman had vanished.

Reed was discovered unconscious and not breathing in the street. At the site, which was close to his mother’s house, he was declared dead.

Sparkman was arrested on December 14 after a warrant was issued for his capture.

In the past, Sparkman was convicted of three felonies: two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of assault.

Reed was a graduate of Cottage Grove’s Park High School who loved remaining active by riding motorbikes and taking walks, according to his online obituary. He was a huge Minnesota Vikings supporter.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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