Two Buffalo High School graduates are now facing prison time after reaching plea arrangements with the Wright County Attorney’s Office. The charges and guilty pleas stem from a drug deal gone wrong in August 2016, leading to the death of Justin Harvey, 18, of Montrose.
Noelle Ziegelmann, a Buffalo High School graduate and former St. Michael resident, is now serving time in Wright County District Court after pleading guilty to criminal vehicular homicide. She drove the truck that also carried James Striebel, 19, of Howard Lake, who investigators found to be the person behind the incident that left Harvey dead.
According to court records: The incident occurred when Harvey approached the pickup, which had been parked on the road near Harvey’s home. Harvey was attempting, Ziegelmann testified, that Striebel was going to “buy” marijuana from Harvey, but then steal the drugs as Ziegelmann drove off. During the deal, as the vehicle accelerated, an altercation occurred between Harvey and Striebel. Harvey, hanging on to the truck, was dragged for a short distance.
Wright County Dispatch officers received an emergency call around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, stating someone was unconscious in the road. Harvey was found near death by first responders, and the man later died at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Ziegelmann is in the midst of serving nearly a 44-month sentence for criminal vehicular homicide. She will then be subject to supervised release after she serves half of that sentence in prison.
Striebel, who has served more than a year in jail during proceedings, awaits sentencing, set for Nov. 29. Manslaughter charges carry approximately a three to five-year sentence, with credit for time served. Streibel will also be subject to supervised release after serving his time.