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Sealy Defendant Appears in Court

May 31, 2000

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The man accused of killing Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik Sealy in a wrong-way, drunken crash made his first court appearance Wednesday.

Attorney Amy Klobuchar had asked for bail of $50,000, but Judge Isabel Gomez set bail at $5,000.

``We consider this a serious crime, and we will aggressively prosecute it,″ Klobuchar said.

Souksangouane Phengsene, 43, had missed several court dates because of injuries in the May 20 crash. He is charged with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Phengsene returned to the hospital after court, and his next appearance was set for July 6.

Authorities said Phengsene had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.10 percent, when his pickup truck crashed into Sealy’s sport utility vehicle on Highway 100 in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park.

Sealy also had been drinking before the crash, but his blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent.

Phengsene was convicted of misdemeanor drunken driving in Iowa three years ago.

For someone without a prior felony criminal record, state guidelines call for a four-year prison sentence for conviction on criminal vehicular homicide. If convicted on all charges, he would serve the four-year terms concurrently.

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