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Dave Roepke, Published October 02 2009

Harwood man sentenced in hit-and-run accident

A Harwood, N.D., man who sent a bicyclist to the hospital last month in a hit-and-run was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday.

Troy Allan Greenlund, 39, pleaded guilty to a felony for leaving the scene of an accident and was taken to jail after the morning hearing in Cass County District Court.

Upon his release, Greenlund will be on supervised probation for 18 months, said Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Boening.

If he completes probation successfully, the charge on his record will be a misdemeanor. Under state law, any felony that leads to a sentence of less than a year is converted to a misdemeanor if the defendant avoids legal trouble.

“He gets kind of a chance out of this whole thing,” Boening said.

The sentence matched the recommendation made by Boening, which wasn’t opposed by Greenlund’s attorney. Boening said that the victim, Jennifer Walla, didn’t object to the terms.

Cash Aaland, attorney for Greenlund, didn’t return a phone message on Thursday, and attempts to contact Walla were unsuccessful.

The Class C felony could have meant up to five years in prison, but Boening said the sentence was right given the limited criminal history of Greenlund, who turned himself in 11 days after the accident.

“I’m reluctant to brand him and turn him into a convicted felon for the rest of his life,” Boening said. “Justice is a little bit in the eye of the beholder sometimes, like beauty.”

Greenlund was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and complete a chemical dependency evaluation.

When interviewed by police, Greenlund admitted he struck Walla on County Road 81 north of Harwood on the night of Aug. 29, a Saturday, but he invoked his right to avoid self-incrimination when asked about details of the accident, police reports state.

Greenlund is already on probation for a year for driving under the influence while accompanied by a minor, a charge he pleaded guilty to on July 24.

Boening said the accident could have more seriously injured Walla, who has said Greenlund’s insurance is covering her medical bills.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535