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Hit-and-run driver who killed Milwaukee police officer sentenced to 25 years

Dante James
Posted at 7:59 AM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 18:45:43-04

MILWAUKEE — The man convicted in a hit-and-run crash that killed off-duty Milwaukee police officer Kou Her was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Tuesday.

Dante James was also sentenced another 13 years of extended supervision.

According to the criminal complaint, James left work to drink with a cousin. On his way home he ran a red light and hit officer Kou Her's car, killing Her. James attempted to run away, before officers caught him. Tuesday's hearing is at 10 a.m.

James was originally charged with five felony counts: homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, hit-and-run resulting in death, operating a vehicle while revoked causing death, homicide by use of a vehicle and first degree recklessly endangering safety.

But James decided to plead guilty to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and first degree recklessly endangering safety. As part of the plea agreement the court dismissed the rest of the charges.

The complaint states James admitted to leaving work early to have shots at his cousin's house, then driving to a bar where he had two beers and a shot before being kicked out. Minutes later, James was traveling at speeds over twice the posted speed limit of 30 mph traveling west down Capitol Dr. when he ran a red light at the intersection of 60th and hit Officer Her's vehicle as he traveled home after his shift, the complaint says.

After the crash, James was observed fleeing the scene on foot. According to the complaint, a patrolling officer saw James, who matched the description given for the suspect, stumbling and with blood running down his face. James was taken into custody after revealing he lived at the same address the Monte Carlo involved in the crash was registered to, the complaint says.

After the accident, James' blood sample had a blood-alcohol level of .209, the complaint says.

James was fired earlier in the day for failing a preliminary breath test after showing up to work intoxicated. He asked clinicians if he could "rig" the test or pay someone else to take it. He blew a .176 and was terminated as a result, according to the complaint.

James has four previous convictions of OWI. Three in Wisconsin and one in Ohio.

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