Woman gets 8 years for crash that killed Wayzata Officer Bill Mathews

The woman who fatally struck Wayzata, Minnesota police officer Bill Mathews on Highway 12 last September pled guilty Friday and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison. 

Beth Freeman, 54, pled guilty to one count of criminal vehicular homicide in the fatal Sept. 8 crash. In court on Friday, Freeman admitted there were trace amounts of cocaine in her system from doing drugs a couple days earlier and said it impacted her driving before the deadly collision. Officer Mathews was clearing debris from the roadway when he was struck. 

“I hold myself accountable for this accident,” Freeman said. “I am not the person the media has made me out to be.” 

Officer Mathews’ eight-year-old son, Wyatt, gave his victim impact statement wearing a Wayzata Police Department t-shirt. 

“I am mad,” he said. “I can’t play with my dad ever again.” 

In her statement to the court, Freeman said she was “extremely remorseful” for Officer Mathews death and asked his widow, Shawn Mathews, and his son to forgive her. 

The judge accepted Freeman’s plea deal. She was sentenced to 98 months in prison, although she is likely to serve about 66 months of that sentence behind bars.