Laura Finseth Scott and Hunter Scott

Laura Finseth Scott and Hunter Scott

A Holmen man who pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide for drunken driving in the death of his wife five days before Christmas in 2014 has been sentenced to 90 days in jail — and an annual grim reminder of the crash.

For five years, Hunter Scott, 29, also must submit to 30 days of electronic home monitoring with an alcohol sensor starting on Dec. 20, the anniversary date of the crash that killed 27-year-old Laura Finseth Scott. The wreck occurred near her hometown of Fountain, Minn., where the couple had been visiting her family.

Minnesota District Court Judge Carmaine Sturino added that stipulation to other penalties, including five years of probation, 300 hours of community service and a $3,000 fine, during Scott’s Jan. 5 sentencing in Preston.

Laura, a beloved, award-winning nurse in the Family Birthplace at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, died after the car her husband of three years was driving crashed on a slick Fillmore County Road 11 at about 7:20 p.m. Dec. 20, 2014.

Laura, who had been wearing a seat belt, died en route to a Rochester hospital, and Hunter was hospitalized with injuries.

A Minnesota State Patrol reconstruction of the accident determined that the vehicle missed a curve and crossed the center line. It slid sideways about 100 yards, hit a driveway and was airborne for 60 feet before landing on its wheels in a ditch, according to the report.

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The vehicle was traveling between 65 and 75 mph on a surface that was slick because of a misty fog and was beginning to ice over, according to the patrol’s report.

Scott was driving in a "grossly negligent manner,” considering his speed, road conditions and alcohol impairment resulting from a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent, based on a preliminary breath test at the scene, according to the report.

He was charged in March with three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide. He pleaded guilty Oct. 8 to a count of operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, and the other charges were dismissed.

Scott had faced a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, or both.

Scott declined to comment through his attorney, Zachary Bauer. He is to begin serving his 90-day sentence in the Fillmore County Jail, with the possibility of work release, within 30 days of Jan. 5.

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For more about this story, read Friday's La Crosse Tribune.


(15) comments


I knew both of them and didn't know the circumstances until now. I'm not arguing the penalty, but I can almost promise you the pain he feels and will always feel is far worse than any penalty that could be imposed. I genuinely feel terrible for him despite making a horrible decision. And the loss of Laura is beyond tragic. We lost a great person.


To mtighe, I doubt you're older than I am. I carry a Medicare card in my wallet, do you. I can't believe in this day and age with today's technology, that you didn't google up
"Jimmy Olson" . Oh well, have a nice day and please think about how what you are writing affects others. I know the young man in this article was in the wrong and deserves punishment for his stupidity, but this article does nothing to help anyone and dredges up more grief for the young ladies family if they read it. Put it under court reports if you just, but it should jot warrant front of the section IMO .


Lost, it seem lost on you what is going on. You used the name "Jimmy Nelson" in your original posting, not Jimmy Olson. You are making yourself look pretty dense here. An apology to Mr. Tighe, who seems very aware of who Jimmy Olson is, is probably not forthcoming from you, but maybe you should gracefully bow out and remain silent from hereon in, at the very least.


Old, indeed your are right. I stand corrected and used the wrong name and if I offended and confused mtighe by my misquote of the comic book characters name, I do owe him an apology for that. That being said though I stand by my statement of the needless publishing of the article on this tragic event. I drifted of point by invoking a comic book comparison. I should not have done that. I should have proof read my original post much closer. My apology to mtighe for misleading him and questioning his trivia knowledge.


@lostinparadize .... clearly you are lost. When someone breaks the law and is charged and sentenced by the criminal justice system, it is public information. Tabloids publish rumors. Everything in this story is fact. Remember, he pled guilty. Furthermore, this guy is not the victim. Laura and her family are the victim. It's pretty simple - don't drink and drive. A BAC of 0.15 is really drunk. It's not like he didn't know he was intoxicated, yet he had the arrogance to think he could anyways. Anyone reading this story should think long and hard about the consequences of choosing to drive drunk. You may have done it a hundred times before, this guy probably had too, but all it takes is that one time to mess up and you will ruin someone's life, and your own.


AJ, yep, you are right, it is public knowledge and could just as easily been noted under court proceedings or MN. news as it happened over there and he was sentenced in MN. not LaCrosse. To all you folks out there who are bad mouthing my opinion, "I'm not lost". I personally know all involved and the whole sad story. Do you ? I think not. It is my opinion nothing more. To quote a famous Sargent in Hollywood, " lighten up Francis".


I could have guessed that you knew the people involved in this tragic incident. I am sure it is a heart-breaking event for you and many others, and that Mr. Scott has borne unimaginable pain. But DUI is a deadly, terrible presence in our society, and if it is swept under the rug -- even when it touches good people like I am sure he is -- it is all in vain. From all of this pain we must hope some good can come. That is one reason why public records are public records and should be kept public.


"Sargent", spelled correctly, is Sergeant. (Look it up if you don't understand)......


What a Idiot...I hope some other drunk reads the report it may save his wife, husband, children or the average joe meeting the drunk driver!!


Hear, hear, butler444. If for no other reason, what you say about the possibility of another drunk reading this and thinking twice about getting behind the wheel, it is well worth this story being written and published as it is. A fine job by Mr. Tighe and a great service from the La Crosse Tribune. lostinparadize should get lost.

Mi scusi

I agree.


And this is news how ? Must be a slow day for Tighe and the trib if they have to make this young man go through public humiliation and more suffering because of this article. I'm sure everyday there will be constant reminders of what happened and what he caused to happen. How does publishing this article accomplish anything other than tabloid sensational gossip?The young man has been punished by the courts and will have to live with this the rest of his life. Try and find some real news, okay trib reporters? Mike, you must be the "Jimmy Nelson" of the Tribune. (Look it up if you don't understand) They pay you for writing this trash? Just asking.

Jimmy Olson?


How old are you ? Ya, Jimmy Olson' cub reporter for the Daily Planet. Superman !

Probably older than you are, but your reference to "Jimmy Nelson" was confusing. That's why I asked for clarification.

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