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Duluth man gets probation for Superior hit-and-run

A Duluth man will spend a year on probation for rear-ending a vehicle, then driving off. James Randall Bryant, 49, pleaded no contest in Douglas County Circuit Court last week to one count felony hit-and-run involving injury and one count misdeme...

A Duluth man will spend a year on probation for rear-ending a vehicle, then driving off.

James Randall Bryant, 49, pleaded no contest in Douglas County Circuit Court last week to one count felony hit-and-run involving injury and one count misdemeanor causing injury while operating under the influence. Additional charges of hit-and-run involving injury and causing injury while operating under the influence were dismissed.

Bryant was sentenced to one year of probation for the misdemeanor count. He was ordered to maintain absolute sobriety, attend a driver safety class, and pay restitution and a $755 fine. His driver's license was revoked for seven months. A three-month jail sentence was imposed and stayed. The jail time would be triggered if Bryant did not follow the conditions of his probation.

A deferred judgment of conviction agreement was entered for the felony hit-and-run charge. According to the agreement, if Bryant abides by the terms of his probation for a year and pays a $264 fine, the charge will be amended to hit-and-run-attended vehicle with no further penalty.

According to the criminal complaint:

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A hit-and-run accident was reported about 10:20 p.m. May 5, 2012. The victim, whose vehicle was rear-ended when she stopped for a red light at the intersection of Tower Avenue and Broadway Street, followed the vehicle that struck hers until it was stopped by Superior Police Officer Nicholas Eastman.

The driver, identified as Bryant, told Eastman he did not think he actually hit anyone. His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and there was an odor of intoxicants coming from Bryant. He told Eastman he had had "a couple," meaning two, drinks. Bryant performed poorly on field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.107 percent.

The driver of the struck vehicle said that after the accident, she pulled to the side of the road to exchange information but the other driver just looked at her and shrugged his shoulders before taking off. Both the driver of the vehicle that was struck and a passenger in the vehicle sustained injuries from the incident.

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