Minneapolis woman sentenced in fatal New Year's Eve hit-and-run

A Minneapolis woman has been sentenced to 45 months in prison for the fatal New Year’s Eve hit-and-run crash that killed 37-year-old Aisha Freels, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Donella Shanice Day, 28, pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide and is required to pay restitution to Freels’ mother and the Minnesota Crime Victims’ Reparation Board.

According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 31, Freels was walking across Lyndale Avenue North near 40th Avenue to get into a taxi when she was struck by a blue sedan driving nearly 45 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The taxi driver said that Freels was “hit by the center of the car, causing her body to strike the hood and windshield,” the complaint said.

Emergency medical personnel declared her dead at the scene, which was in front of her house.

The attorney’s office said in a statement that before Day was sentenced, Freels’ mother and aunt  spoke of the “traumatic loss Freels’ four children are experiencing as a result of never being able to see their mother again and that yet, Day, who is responsible for the death, will still be able to see her four children.”

Day’s attorney wanted her to receive probation because she had no criminal history at the time of the incident.

But, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Susan Crumb argued that Day deserved to be sentenced “because she was speeding, fled the scene and did not have a valid driver’s license.”

According to the statement, Day also did not turn herself in to police. Rather, she “admitted what she had done when the police came to her house three days later to follow up on a tip from an anonymous caller who identified Day as the driver of the car that struck and killed Freels.”