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Attorney suggests mechanical failure in crash that killed 2

October 11, 2021 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The attorney for a man accused in connection with a car crash that killed the son of the University of Minnesota men’s hockey coach and another young man said Monday that mechanical failure might have been a factor.

James Blue, 51, of Orono, is charged with third-degree murder, drunken driving and negligence in the July deaths of 20-year-old Mack Motzko, son of Gophers coach Bob Motzko, and 24-year-old Sam Schuneman. The victims were passengers in the Bentley that Blue is alleged to have driven at up to 99 miles per hour before crashing into a wooded area.

Defense attorney Frank Bruno said during Monday’s court hearing that the possibility of mechanical failure with the luxury automobile is “not just originating in the defense mind but in law enforcement.” He also said that “speed discrepancy” will be a key issue in the case, the Star Tribune reported.

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Bruno said he is waiting on the results of the state’s preliminary investigation before working on reconstructing the crash with the help of two automobile manufacturers.

According to a criminal complaint, Blue drank shots of liquor and consumed THC gummies before the crash. Motzko and Schuneman had been at a restaurant and were invited to Blue’s home by a mutual friend.

Prosecutors have said that they will seek a longer than normal sentence for Blue because of the nature of the crash.