Fargo dad pleads guilty in DUI crash that killed 7-year-old son

Christopher L. Devine appears Aug. 6 in Cass County District Court in Fargo. He faces charges stemming from a drunken driving crash that fatally injured his 7-year-old son and critically injured his 5-year-old son.

FARGO — A Fargo father pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a car crash that fatally injured one of his sons and critically injured another.

Christopher L. Devine, 31, appeared in Cass County District Court on Monday, Sept. 23, where he pleaded guilty to one felony count of criminal vehicular homicide and two felony counts of criminal vehicular injury.

On March 23, Devine was driving a vehicle that was involved in a crash on University Drive South in Fargo. His 7-year-old son died several days after the crash, and his 5-year-old son recovered from critical injuries.

Devine's guilty pleas were entered conditionally so he could preserve his right to appeal a ruling made earlier in the case in which Judge Susan Bailey denied the defense's motion to suppress his blood test.

Devine's blood-alcohol level was .267% shortly after being taken to a hospital after the crash. The legal limit to drive is .08%.

If Devine were to file an appeal on the motion to suppress his blood test, it would happen after his sentencing in this case and the North Dakota Supreme Court would rule on the appeal, prosecutor Ryan Younggren said.

When first interviewed by police after the crash, Devine took several minutes to respond to questions, according to an eight-minute audio recording of the conversation obtained by WDAY. Fargo officers had to repeat his rights and ask for his consent to a blood test several times.

In the recording, Devine tells officers he had “a lot” to drink and that he was driving “to get a pack of cigarettes somewhere.”

Charging documents show he was driving at about 59 mph one second before the crash along a road where the speed limit is 35 mph.

Devine remains in Cass County Jail. His sentencing date will be set at a later time.

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