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Associated Press, Published September 24 2010

Trial set for Mitzel on driving charges

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. – A 93-year-old woman is facing trial for driving without insurance or a license six months after she hit two motorcycles with her car and killed a woman.

Northeast District Judge Donovan Foughty scheduled Faith Mitzel’s trial for Nov. 30. Lonnie Olson, the Ramsey County state’s attorney, said he’ll request jail time for Mitzel if she is convicted. She could get up to 60 days for the two misdemeanors.

Mitzel hit the motorcycles May 19 on State Highway 57 north of Fort Totten. She paid a $20 ticket for crossing the highway’s center line but did not face any criminal charges. She is to go on trial for two separate alleged violations in August, for driving with a suspended license and without insurance.

Kathy Berg, the mother of Sheri Leidholt, 30, of Devils Lake, who was killed in the May accident, said jail time or home confinement would be appropriate for Mitzel.

“She’s endangering other people,” Berg told KVLY-TV.

Mitzel’s attorney, Monty Stensland of Grand Forks, said a jail sentence would be unusual for a first offender such as his client. It would be an attempt to punish Mitzel for the earlier offense, he said.

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