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Fatal crash defendant released

Fatal crash defendant released Click to Enlarge Photo: Vladimir Cetinski, Photos.com

Apr 24, 2014 at 7:12 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Relatives reacted in anger after a Hennepin County judge released a man accused of driving drunk and killing two young people.

Philip Bertelsen is accused driving drunk at more than 100 mph in north Minneapolis last November and crashing into vehicles stopped at a red light. The chain reaction crash killed 20-year-old Melvin Jones and his 21-year-old girlfriend, Brandy Banks-Sutta.

The 55-year-old defendant appeared in court Wednesday where Judge William Koch decided to set no bail in the case. KSTP-TV says that prompted one of the victims' family members to yell that the defendant had taken two lives. Another member shouted an expletive at the judge.

Prosecutors asked for $300,000 bail while the defense requested $5,000 bond. Bertelsen's attorney, Robert Christensen, says his client has taken responsibility "for his relationship with alcohol."

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