Photos shared on Twitter on Thursday show Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson's wrecked squad vehicle after he crashed it while drunk behind the wheel.
Hutchinson was charged with DWI and three other offenses in connection to the Dec. 8 crash near Alexandria. He admitted to drinking prior to the crash, and pleaded guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor count.
Independent photojournalist Rebecca Brannon shared more than a dozen photos of the mangled vehicle on Twitter on Thursday.
Brannon told Bring Me The News she took the photos in the public Hennepin County lot, saying she did so because the public "deserves transparency."
Delta-8 hemp gummies and other items can bee seen in the photos of the wrecked vehicle.
Hutchinson's attorney and Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson told the Star Tribune the photos are staged. Bring Me The News has reached out to the Hennepin County and Douglas County sheriff's offices for more on this.
The Douglas County Attorney's Office last week announced Hutchinson had been charged with four misdemeanors in the rollover crash that occurred five miles east of Alexandria at about 2:30 a.m.
Hutchinson entered the guilty plea Thursday, admitting in the document he had a BAC of 0.13% within two hours of the early morning accident on I-94. Hutchinson suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the one-vehicle rollover and was taken to the hospital. He'd been in Alexandria for the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association conference.
By pleading guilty to the misdemeanor, the two other DWI-related misdemeanor charges against him will be dismissed. Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson, in a statement, said under state law, he can only be convicted of one DWI offense in connection with the incident.
For the fourth charge, carrying a pistol under the influence of alcohol, the state agreed to a continuance for dismissal. That is also a misdemeanor.
Hutchinson, shortly after the crash became public, admitted to drinking before getting behind the wheel, calling it an "inexcusable decision." He was driving a county vehicle at the time.
In a statement on Thursday, he said he's now enrolled in an outpatient treatment program to address his issues with alcohol and his health. He has also returned to work.