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Jury trial set in deaths of Garza and Ford

Prescott grads were killed in 2021 accident

A Dakota County, Minn. judge ruled against a motion on Sept. 9 to dismiss charges that the actions of a Burnsville, Minn. woman who was racing with her brother caused the deaths of Tayler Nicole Garza of Woodbury and Dalton Lee Ford of Burnsville.

Garza and Ford were both 22 years old when they died from injuries suffered in the April 4, 2021 accident. They were 2017 graduates of Prescott High School.

Camille Dennis-Bond, 20, was charged with two counts of Murder in the Third Degree, two counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide and one count of Criminal Vehicular Operation Resulting in Great Bodily Harm. A delinquency petition and petition for adult certification were filed against Leon Bond, who was 17 at the time of the incident, charging him with the same ouenses. Minne –

sota law required him to be prosecuted as a juvenile un- less the court certified him as an adult.

A jury trial has been scheduled for Dennis-Bond to begin at 9 a.m. on Dec. 5 in the courtroom of District Judge Tim Wermager.

According to the crimi- nal complaint filed against Dennis-Bond a year ago, on April 4, 2021, a white Chrysler 200 driven by Leon Bond was traveling eastbound on County Road 42 between Burnsville Parkway and Newton Avenue. It was allegedly racing a Chevy Malibu driven by Dennis-Bond. As the two vehicles approached New ton Avenue, a Honda CRV driven by Ford pulled into the left turn lane of westbound County Road 42 to cross onto Newton Avenue. Garza was a passenger in the Ford vehicle.

As Ford’s vehicle crossed County Road 42, it was “T-boned” by Bond’s car, “causing it to split in half,” the complaint states. Dennis- Bond’s vehicle was slightly behind her brother’s, and it just missed striking the Honda. Both Ford and Garza died at the scene as a result of injuries suuered in the crash.

Another sister was in Bond’s vehicle, and she was transported to the hospital with "significant injuries as a result of the crash, and initially police were informed she may not survive and would require significant fu ture medical care,” according to the complaint.

Several witnesses to the crash described that the vehicles driven by Bond and Dennis-Bond were “racing” or traveling at a high rate of speed just prior to the crash. One witness described that the vehicle driven by Bond was driving “incredibly fast” and hit another car (Honda) that “basically turned into powder and split in half.” Another witness estimated the two cars passed him going 100 mph.

A Minnesota State Patrol accident reconstruction report stated that Bond’s vehicle was traveling between 93 and 100 mph at point of impact and had been going 114 five seconds before the crash. It was estimated that Dennis-Bond’s car had been traveling at speeds between 91 and 107 mph.

In a court filing in June, Dennis-Bond’s attorney, Bobby Jo Chapman, argued that charges against Dennis- Bond should be dismissed because the state’s case lacks probable cause, since the accident didn’t involve her vehicle.

A court filing indicates that Bond and Dennis-Bond had rolled down the windows in their cars at the stop light on County Road 42 and Burnsville Parkway and had a conversation as to which car could reach 50 mph faster. The crash reconstruction report stated that had the Bond and Dennis-Bond vehicles been driving the posted speed, the Honda CRV would have cleared the intersection, and the accident wouldn’t have occurred.

Wermager ruled that there was probable cause on each count against Dennis-Bond.

September 27, 2022