Man accused in grisly Mounds View hit-and-run now charged with murder

The murder charges was added earlier this week.
Publish date:
Donald J. Harris.

Donald J. Harris.

The man accused of killing an 82-year-old woman in a violent hit-and-run is now facing murder charges.

Donald J. Harris was initially charged with two counts of felony criminal vehicular homicide in the May 25 incident. Prosecutors say he was behind the wheel of an SUV when it sped into the parking lane on the 8200 block of Long Lake Road in Mounds View, and crashed into Mary Preciado.

Authorities found Preciado, who had been out doing yard work in front of the home, dead in the street, the driver having fled the grisly scene only to crash into a ditch a few miles away.

In June 2, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office added a new charge against Harris: Third-degree murder. His actions, the charges say, were "eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind without regard for human life." If convicted on this count, Harris faces up to 25 years in prison.

The attorney's office declined to offer a comment regarding the additional charge. 

You can read more about the allegations against Harris here, which detail reckless driving and numerous near-misses with other vehicles in the minutes before and after the fatal hit-and-run.

In an obituary, Preciado was remembered by family as "our anchor." She is survived by two sisters, four children, 12 grandkids and five great-grandchildren. 

An omnibus hearing in the case is set for June 30, according to court records.

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