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Ex-deputy agrees to plea deal in deadly Fergus Falls pursuit

May 26, 2021 GMT

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A former Otter Tail County deputy has signed a plea deal in a deadly pursuit case.

Kelly Backman has agreed to plead guilty to misconduct by a public employee. A charge of driving while intoxicated is expected to be dismissed.

The 43-year-old deputy was pursuing a suspect in Fergus Falls last October in a chase that ended with a collision and the deaths of a local couple, Steve and Diane Christianson. They were killed when the suspect Backman was pursuing ran a stop sign and crashed into their vehicle.

A blood test later showed that Backman was under the influence of fentanyl at the time of the crash. The plea agreement calls for 30 days in jail or electronic home monitoring.

If a judge accepts the plea to the misdemeanor count, Backman is expected to begin his sentence as early as next month.