Burnsville motorist gets probation for Wisconsin couple’s crash deaths

A 19-year-old man was sentenced Monday to juvenile probation until age 21 for causing a crash that killed a western Wisconsin couple in Burnsville in 2021.

Leon Bond of Burnsville pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder Jan. 10 in connection with the crash that killed 22-year-olds Dalton Lee Ford and Tayler Nicole Garza on April 4, which was Easter Sunday.

Bond was 17 at the time, and the Dakota County attorney’s office had sought to certify him as an adult in the case. Senior Judge Joseph Carter instead ordered the case proceed under extended juvenile jurisdiction, which the attorney’s office appealed. The Minnesota Court of Appeals court upheld Carter’s decision.

Dakota County District Judge Christopher Lehmann on Monday sentenced Bond to 300 months in prison. However, pursuant to extended juvenile jurisdiction, execution of the adult sentence was stayed and Bond was placed on juvenile probation until age 21 with several conditions, including completion of a long-term program at Red Wing Correctional Facility, according to the attorney’s office.

Bond was racing against a vehicle driven by his 19-year-old sister, Camille Dennis-Bond, also of Burnsville. Five seconds before the crash, which happened on Dakota County Road 42 near Newton Avenue around 10:30 a.m., Leon Bond reached 114 mph, according to a criminal complaint. The speed limit in the area was 50 mph.

Bond’s Chrysler 200 struck a Honda CRV — Ford was the driver and Garza the passenger — and Dennis-Bond’s Chevrolet Malibu narrowly missed them.

Dalton Lee Ford and Tayler Nicole Garza (Southwest News Media)

Last month, a jury deliberated for about seven hours and convicted Camille Dennis-Bond of two counts of third-degree murder, two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm and careless driving. Her sentencing is scheduled for March 24.

Ford and Garza, who were from Prescott, regarded each other as the love of their lives, according to their obituaries. Both Ford and Garza worked at Vino in the Valley in Maiden Rock, Wis. — he was a cook and she a bartender. Ford also worked as an auto technician at Luther White Bear Acura and Garza as a team lead at Target in Woodbury.

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