Mark Chalin of Mankato pleads guilty to killing two in driving-while-having-sex wreck

Categories: Crime, Sex
mark chalin rect 2.jpg
Submitted image of Menezes via Mankato Free Press
Chalin (left) was allegedly having sex with Menezes (right) when he crashed, killing Menezes and another driver.
Yesterday, Mark Chalin, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the August 7, 2011 deaths of Amber Menezes, 23, and Jonna Martin, 35.

Chalin was allegedly driving and having sex with Menezes when he crossed the center line on Blue Earth County Road 90 and slammed into a vehicle driven by Martin. Both Martin and Menezes died. Chalin suffered 26 broken bones, a damaged bladder, and spent 45 days in the hospital, but survived.

Investigators concluded Chalin was distracted, inattentive, and had his vision obscured at the time of the crash. He was charged in February.

Yesterday, Chalin entered an Alford plea, meaning he denies guilt but acknowledges there's enough evidence to convict him.

From the Mankato Free Press:
Witnesses who had passed Chalin's car and State Patrol investigators reported Menezes was straddling Chalin, blocking his view of the road, when Chalin slammed into another car driven by Martin...

[Chalin] said he remembered leaving his father's house in Delavan with Menezes in his car and making a couple of turns while driving to his apartment in Mankato.

"The next thing I remember is waking up in the Mayo Clinic in Rochester," Chalin said. "I don't remember which day. It could have been Aug. 7, Aug. 8 or Aug. 9."
Prosecutors want Chalin to spend four years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for December 10.

-- Correction: An earlier version of this post used an incorrect image of Chalin. We apologize for the error.

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