Motorist gets 8 years for hitting, killing officer with SUV

MINNEAPOLIS - A motorist who struck and killed a Minnesota police officer as he removed debris from a highway last September has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

Fifty-four-year-old Beth Freeman pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 47-year-old Wayzata Officer Bill Mathews and was sentenced to 98 months. She'll be eligible for parole in about 5 1/2 years.

Authorities say Freeman was on drugs and texting behind the wheel when she hit Mathews with her SUV. She admitted in court Friday to having used cocaine before the incident. Freeman's attorney said "she is a good person who made bad choices."

Gov. Mark Dayton this month signed a bill into law designating a section of U.S. Highway 12 within Wayzata city limits as "Officer Bill Mathews Memorial Highway."


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