An Iron Range man who was accused of intentionally striking a U.S. Postal Service vehicle with the intent of killing a mail carrier has pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal vehicular operation.
Alan Lynn Birt, 57, of Marble, entered a Norgaard plea Monday in State District Court in Virginia. The plea allows the defendant to assert that he is unable to recall all of the facts of the incident due to intoxication or amnesia while acknowledging that there is sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
Authorities said Birt may have been traveling as fast as 80 mph when his pickup truck slammed into a postal vehicle on May 8, 2019, in Hoyt Lakes. A 55-year-old mail carrier was ejected from the truck, suffering a head injury and four broken ribs, among other injuries that were initially described as life-threatening.
Birt did undergo a mental health evaluation before he was deemed competent to proceed in court.
With the plea, an additional charge of first-degree assault will be dismissed by the St. Louis County Attorney's Office. Judge Andrew Peterson scheduled sentencing for July 6.
According to a criminal complaint:
The crash was reported on Dorchester Drive just before 11 a.m. Responding officers found witnesses tending to the victim, while Birt was seen "yelling and ranting" near the crash scene.
Witnesses told police Birt was driving a brand-new, three-quarter-ton truck when he struck the delivery vehicle. Witnesses stated the truck sounded to be "maxed out" or "pedal to the floor" when the collision occurred, with one estimating Birt was traveling at 80 mph.
Birt was uncooperative with law enforcement, and a Taser was deployed. Four officers were eventually needed to take him into custody.
In a subsequent statement, Birt admitted he was upset with the Postal Service. He stated that he knew there was a person in the mail truck and that he struck it intentionally.
While at a hospital for evaluation, Birt was asked whether he remembered anything from the crash.
"Yeah, I killed that f---ing useless carrier," he allegedly responded.
After officers told him he did not kill her, Birt reportedly replied: "Well, someone should."