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UPDATE: Columbia man charged with second-degree murder following fatal car crash

Thursday, March 7, 2013 | 12:56 p.m. CST; updated 9:49 a.m. CST, Friday, March 8, 2013

*Update: This story was updated to include information about charges filed against Dennis Leporin and his previous charge of driving while intoxicated.

COLUMBIA — The Cole County prosecutor has filed a series of charges, including second-degree murder, against a Columbia man accused of causing a car accident Wednesday night that left a woman dead and a man seriously injured.

Dennis Leporin was driving a Ford Ranger north on U.S. 54 West in the southbound lane at about 10 p.m. when he hit a Saturn Ion driven by Chelsea Fredrickson, 19, according to a release from the Jefferson City Police Department.

Fredrickson was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, Jasper Richmond, was flown to University Hospital. Richmond was listed in fair condition as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, according to hospital spokesman Jeff Hoelscher. Leporin was taken to a local hospital Wednesday night. Jefferson City police later arrested him.

Alcohol is a suspected factor in the crash, according to the release. 

Leporin was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault, driving a vehicle while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and driving on the wrong side of the highway, according to online court records. He was being held in Cole County Jail.

He pleaded guilty in May 2011 to driving while intoxicated, according to online court records. He was sentenced to two years' probation. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner and was fined $400.

The southbound lanes on U.S. 54 were diverted to Missouri 179 for about three hours Wednesday night.

Missourian reporter Ciera Velarde contributed to this report.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.


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