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Victim permanently disabled following collision with repeat drunk driver; suspect receives maximum sentence

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Posted at 9:36 AM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 09:38:21-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — On Tuesday, the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office announced that 58-year-old Todd Allen Beeker, of Pasadena, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a non-fatal collision left 29-year-old Bennett Kriewald permanently disabled.

This charge runs consecutive to another 10 year sentence imposed in St. Mary’s County for Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI).

On May 12, 2020, Anne Arundel County Police Officers responded to a call for a traffic collision at Fort Smallwood Road and Elizabeth Road. When police arrived at the scene, Kriewald told them that while he was driving home from his grandmother’s funeral north on Ft. Smallwood Road, a white Dodge Ram pickup truck traveling south crossed the double painted line hitting him head on.

Kriewald sustained severe injuries to his right ankle and wrist. Beeker and Kriewald were transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for their injuries.

During the investigation, police identified Beeker as the driver of the Dodge Ram and found empty and full Budweiser beer cans and a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka in the truck. Beeker’s blood alcohol level was found to be a .30, five times the legal limit.

“A young man’s life is forever altered because of the defendant’s reckless and selfish decision to drive while intoxicated,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “Mr. Kriewald is now forced to live with permanent physical injuries, and the anguish and extreme financial stress that have followed. I know this verdict cannot make whole everything that Mr. Kriewald lost but I hope it does provide him and his family with a sense of peace in knowing that the defendant is held accountable for his actions.”

Kriewald addressed Judge Stacey McCormick in a victim impact statement describing how everything he worked so hard to obtain – a beautiful home, dream boat and a great career as an electrician - was stripped away from him because of the defendant’s selfishness.

He said, “I can’t maintain my career as an electrician because I can’t be on my feet long. I can’t climb ladders or do anything labor intensive. Therefore, I can’t maintain my career to support the lifestyle that I worked so hard to build. I can’t run or jog anymore. I have plans to have a family and kids of my own someday and to be able to enjoy sports with them meant the world to me. [The defendant] has single handedly taken that opportunity from me.”

Beeker had previously been convicted of eight DUIs.

This is the first time a defendant has received the maximum sentence of 10 years in Anne Arundel County under the updated Maryland Transportation Code 21-902(i) DUI statute which increased the penalty for drunk drivers with more than three prior convictions from three to ten years in prison. The change to the penalty took effect on October 1, 2019 throughout the state.