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Suspended sentence for Mason City man convicted of vehicular homicide

NORTHWOOD — A Mason City man convicted of vehicular homicide after a fatal accident in 2019 in Worth County has been given a suspended prison sentence.

The Iowa State Patrol said at the time of the accident on May 3rd, 2019 that 38-year-old Rick Johnson was walking eastbound on 390th Street, about an eighth of a mile east of Ironwood Avenue northeast of Hanlontown, when he was struck and killed by a vehicle also traveling eastbound, driven by 44-year-old Luke Beenken of Mason City. Investigators say Beenken was texting while driving and sent a text message at the same time that he ran into Johnson.

Beenken opted for a non-jury trial, with District Judge Colleen Weiland finding him guilty of vehicular homicide by reckless driving, a Class C felony. Weiland this week sentenced Beenken to a ten-year prison sentence, which was suspended, and placed him on five years probation.

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