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Another charge filed against Alexandria woman in fatal drunk driving case

Amber Lea Pospisil, 31, of Alexandria has been charged in St. Croix County, Wis., with homicide by use of a vehicle with PAC.

EP Court News
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ST. CROIX COUNTY, WIS. โ€” Another charge has been filed against an Alexandria woman accused of causing a four-car crash that left a man dead last October.

Amber Lea Pospisil, 31, has been charged in St. Croix County, Wis., with homicide by use of a vehicle with PAC, which stands for prohibited alcohol concentration. This new charge was filed on Thursday, Jan. 19, following a court hearing in St. Croix County.

Pospisil is also charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle while having prior intoxicant-related conviction/revocation and two counts of second degree recklessly endangering safety.

The charges stem from an incident that took place on Oct. 30, 2022 in which Pospisil is alleged to have been under the influence when she drove her vehicle eastbound in the westbound lanes of traffic on I-94 in St. Croix County near Hudson, the criminal complaint read.

Mark Filbrandt, a 54-year-old musician from Robbinsdale, Minn., was killed in the crash.

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Pospisil and the occupants of the other vehicles did not have any visible injuries at the scene of the crash, the complaint read.

Filbrandt was pronounced dead at the scene after his vehicle was hit head-on by Pospisil's, the complaint read.

An officer on the scene noted that Pospisil had slurred speech and a difficult time keeping her balance, and found an empty bottle of Tito's vodka on the floor of her vehicle, the complaint read.

According to the criminal complaint, Pospisil admitted she had been drinking after a wedding, and tests showed her blood-alcohol content to be .218, which is more than two and a half times Wisconsin's legal limit of .08.

In an interview with police, Pospisil said she has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and that her drinking and driving on the day in question was for "freedom," and compared it to a relapse, the complaint read.

She also stated she was an alcoholic and had no memory of driving the wrong way on the interstate, the complaint read.

The first thing Pospisil said she remembered after the crash was EMTs pulling her from the vehicle and police reading her the Miranda Rights, the complaint read.

She was also "shocked" when it was revealed to her that Filbrandt died in the crash, the complaint read.

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This is not the first time Pospisil has been involved in a drunk-driving crash. She was convicted of a third-degree DWI in Douglas County District Court after she allegedly rear-ended a vehicle at a stop sign in Brandon on Jan. 13, 2021, according to court documents.

Another third-degree DWI charge and a charge of criminal vehicular operation were dismissed.

Pospisil's blood-alcohol content was .298 in the Brandon crash, court documents read.

Pospisil's next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 22 in St. Croix County. She currently is in the St. Croix County Jail.

Trial date set for man charged with multiple felonies

A trial date has been set for an Alexandria man charged with felony possession of stolen property.

Rafael Buenfil, 40, will have a pre-trial hearing on April 13 in Douglas County District Court, and a trial the following week.

Buenfil is charged with felony possession of stolen property, a felony fifth degree controlled substance crime and felony fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.

The charges stem from an incident that took place on Oct. 6, 2020, in which Buenfil allegedly led police on a chase using a stolen vehicle.

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At approximately 2:16 a.m. a deputy observed a fast-moving Toyota Corolla traveling north-bound on Fillmore Street, and then turning west on Third Avenue in Alexandria, the statement of probable cause read.

The deputy followed the vehicle, which turned into the parking lot at the Viking Village Apartments, the statement read.

After turning its headlights off and on, Buenfil then allegedly pulled out of the parking lot and drove back onto Third Avenue traveling eastbound, the statement read.

The vehicle, which was not displaying license plates, was clocked at 83 miles per hour as it went through the intersection of Third Avenue and Broadway Street, the statement read.

The deputy discontinued pursuit for safety purchases when his radar indicated that the vehicle passed the intersection of Third Avenue and Lake Street at 97 miles per hour, the statement read.

Shortly thereafter, the deputy observed a large flash in the sky near the area of the VFW and the streetlights began to flicker, the statement read.

The deputy then observed that Buenfil had lost control of the vehicle, entered a parking lot and hit a power pole, the statement read.

A female passenger attempted to flee the scene by running through a field north of the crash, but she was stopped by the deputy, the statement read.

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The female passenger later confirmed the driver of the vehicle was Buenfil, the statement read.

The vehicle was found to be stolen from a location in Fergus Falls, and a large shard of what tested positive for methamphetamine was found on the driver's seat, along with a glass pipe and a lunch box containing social security cards that did not belong to Buenfil, the statement read.

Buenfil's driver's license status is revoked. He has previously been convicted of a controlled substance crime in the fifth degree.

Alexandria man sentenced for felony theft

An Alexandria man was sentenced for felony theft in Douglas County District Court on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Robert Eric Lee, 38, has been committed to the correctional facility in St. Cloud for 26 months, with 411 days credit for time served. He must also pay assorted fees amounting to $125, and restitution of $74 to Sauk Centre Tire and Alignment and $2,990 to KLS Implement.

Additional charges of felony third degree burglary, felony motor vehicle theft and felony possession of stolen property were dismissed.

According to the statement of probable cause, on Sept. 26, 2019, Lee was observed driving in Alexandria, and officers stopped the vehicle as they were aware that Lee was the subject of arrest warrants for burglary and his driving privileges were revoked.

Lee gave a false name and then ran on foot and escaped, the statement read.

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Officers observed that the vehicle contained numerous mechanic's tools, which were subsequently identified as having been stolen in a burglary of Becker Auto Repair on Sept. 24, 2019, the statement read.

Officers also recovered a backpack which contained a laptop, the statement read.

The owner of the laptop told the officers that someone named Robert Lee had attempted to log into the computer, but was locked out, the statement read.

The person also estimated he was missing approximately $75,000 in tools as a result of the burglary.

Alexandria man sentenced for second-degree assault

An Alexandria man was sentenced for two counts of second degree assault in a hearing that took place in Douglas County District Court on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Derrick James Thorpe, 28, was committed to the correctional facility in St. Cloud for 21 months. His sentence is stayed for five years.

Thorpe was also sentenced to 295 days in the Douglas County Jail, with 295 days credit for time served.

He also has been placed on supervised probation for five years, and must pay $125 in fees, along with a number of other release conditions.

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A jury found Thorpe guilty of the two charges in verdicts that were filed by Douglas County District Court on June 22.

Thorpe also was found not guilty of felony first degree assault โ€” assaulting another person and inflicting great bodily harm.

According to the statement of probable cause, Thorpe stabbed another man above his left collar bone and in his left cheek with a steak knife during an argument on Feb. 16.

According to a news release from the Alexandria Police Department, the victim was treated by North Ambulance and later transported to the Alomere Health's emergency room with non-life-threatening injuries.

Thorpe claimed self-defense, telling police that the man was strangling him, the statement of probable cause read.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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