Bond sentenced in Garza, Ford deaths


Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena announced that Leon Bond, 19, Burnsville, Minn., was sentenced Monday, Jan. 23 under Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ) by Judge Christopher Lehmann in connection with the fatal crash on County Road 42 in Burnsville on April 4, 2021, that killed 22-year-old Tayler Nicole Garza of Woodbury, and 22-year-old Dalton Lee Ford, of Burnsville.

On Jan. 10, 2023, Bond pled guilty to two counts of murder in the third degree (perpetrating eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind). Bond received an adult sentence of 150 months in prison on each count to be served consecutively for a total of 300 months (25 years). Pursuant to EJJ, execution of the adult sentence was stayed, and Bond was placed on juvenile probation until age 21 with several conditions, including a long-term placement at the Red Wing Correctional Facility.

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office sought to certify Bond (age 17 at the time of the crash) as an adult in relation to this case; however, the motion for certification was denied by Judge Joseph Carter who instead ordered that the case proceed under EJJ. The order denying the certification was appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals which affirmed Judge Carter’s decision.

Co-defendant Camille Dennis-Bond was convicted by a Dakota County jury last month of two counts of murder in the third degree (eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind), two counts of criminal vehicular homicide (gross negligence), one count of criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm (gross negligence) and one count of careless driving. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 24, 2023 in Hastings.

Keena praised Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Swank who prosecuted the case.

Submitted by Dakota County Attorney’s Office