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Minn. man pleads guilty in fatal Wisconsin boat crash

ELLSWORTH, Wis. (AP) — A Minnesota boater has pleaded guilty to being drunk when he crashed into the rocks on the St. Croix River nearly two years ago, killing a friend.

The Star Tribune reports 48-year-old Patrick Puhalla of Newport, Minn., pleaded guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court last week to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, a felony, and causing injury by intoxicated use of a boat, a misdemeanor. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12.

According to state crime lab results, Puhalla’s blood alcohol content at the time of the June 5, 2013, crash was 0.114 percent. That’s above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Killed in the crash was 40-year-old David Riley. Another passenger was hurt.

The three were returning to a marina in Afton, Minn., when the crash happened.

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