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Lempkie receives prison time, fine

By Staff | Jan 31, 2011

A Delavan man will spend time in prison and pay more than $105,000 for setting a house on fire and taking authorities on a high-speed chase in his semi-truck last June.

On Monday in Faribault County District Court, Judge Douglas Richards sentenced 32-year-old Bryan Douglas Lempkie on charges of second-degree arson, fleeing a peace officer and third-degree DWI.

Lempkie will serve two-thirds of a 48-month prison term for the arson charge.

The 19 months jail time for fleeing an officer and one year for driving under the influence of alcohol will be served concurrently. He was given credit for 204 days served in the county jail.

Lempkie also must pay $105,870 in restitution, $104,693 of that to a Fairmont insurance company.

According to a court complaint, county authorities responded to a call around 5:30 p.m. on June 30 from Lempkie that he had set his house in Delavan on fire. He then took law officers on a 35-mile chase in his semi with speeds reaching nearly 95 mph.

Before Lempkie was sentenced, his former girlfriend had a statement read on her behalf.

The victim says the emotional scars that she and her five children carry can not be fixed and asked if there is a sentence stiff enough to teach Lempkie the severity of what he did.

“Even after the house had been fixed I was scared to be in the house alone with the kids, not knowing what was happening with Bryan and if he was going to come back and finish what he started. I think about that a lot. What is he going to do when he gets out? The very thought of that truly scares me,” she writes.

Defense attorney Calvin Johnson says he has seen a remarkable change in his client since the incident occurred.

“This has gone far beyond what Mr. Lempkie had intended. He has no recollection of anything that happened,” says Johnson. “He wants for her to feel safe above all else. That is going to be his job for the rest of his life.”

Lempkie was originally charged with first-degree arson; making terroristic threats; fleeing a peace officer; third-degree DWI; speeding; and reckless driving.