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Bail set at $50,000 for Perham man accused of causing fatal crash

A Perham man accused of causing the death of an Anderson Bus driver in Frazee has been charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Bail was set at $50,000 for Richard Henry Fisette, 39, of Perham, who appeared in Becker County District Court on Wednesday before Judge Gretchen Thilmony.

According to court records, Fisette was allegedly driving eastward shortly before 6 a.m. on Juniper Avenue in Frazee when he struck a car parked in front of Anderson Bus and Coach.

The parked car was occupied by Marlin Roger Miller, 50, of Ponsford, a longtime driver for Anderson Bus who was listening to the early news on his car radio, as was his habit.

Miller’s car was struck on the front driver’s side, pushing it into another parked vehicle, which was pushed into a third parked vehicle. A witness reported the car was moving faster than the posted speed limit, with the headlights off. Fisette allegedly told an officer that the last time he had checked his speedometer he was going 42 mph.

Fisette said he was eastbound on Juniper Avenue when a tire blew, causing his vehicle to strike Miller’s car. He allegedly admitted he had smoked marijuana and meth the day before and, except for a 90 minute nap the previous afternoon, had not slept all night, either because of the meth high or because he just wasn’t sleepy. A sample of his blood was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.

According to court records, Fisette has 15 prior convictions, including for speeding, theft and DWI dating back to 1998. His most recent speeding ticket was in May. The DWIs were in 2007 and 2008. The four theft convictions were in 2013 and 2014. Most of his offenses were various types of misdemeanors, except for felony DWI.

On Wednesday, public defender Johnathan Judd was appointed to defend Fisette, and his next court appearance was set for Nov. 19.