Kristen Daum, Published September 11 2009
Greenlund voluntarily turned himself in in hit-and-run case
Greenlund, 39, of Harwood, N.D., feels remorseful and wants to take responsibility, his attorney, Cash Aaland, said Thursday.
“He’s horribly remorseful and crushed, which is why he came forward yesterday,” Aaland said.
Greenlund allegedly hit 28-year-old Jennifer Walla as she bicycled on County Road 81 north of Harwood the night of Aug. 29, and then fled the scene. Walla was treated for a concussion, among other injuries.
Aaland said Greenlund approached him on Sept. 3, and the next day he started talking with Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Boening about Greenlund turning himself in.
Officials in the Cass County Sheriff’s Department did not know Greenlund’s identity until Wednesday, when he turned himself in at the department, Aaland said.
Aaland and Boening negotiated that Greenlund would not be arrested if he voluntarily turned himself in.
Boening said Wednesday he agreed, instead, to issue a summons for Greenlund to appear in court, based on his cooperation.
Greenlund faces a Class C felony charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving serious personal injury – which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Aaland said Thursday that his client made a mistake when he didn’t come forward until five days after the accident.
“All I can say is, he made a terrible mistake,” Aaland said.
While discussions took place between the attorneys, county authorities were soliciting help from the public to find a vehicle that matched a passenger-side mirror left at the scene.
Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Majerus said in a statement Wednesday that authorities identified Greenlund through “investigation and help from the public.”
However, the police report makes no mention of Greenlund as a potential suspect until he turned himself in Wednesday, and Aaland said he did not believe Greenlund was the subject of the investigation prior to then.
According to the police report, Greenlund’s car matches the type authorities were searching for. Aaland said that Greenlund did not have a passenger in his car at the time of the accident, according to the report.
Aaland said on Greenlund’s behalf that Greenlund “is willing to admit involvement and responsibility for the car accident,” but pleaded the Fifth in answer to most questions, according to the police report.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541