University researcher’s alleged killer charged

Kevin Roger Doerr, 24, was charged with two counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide.

by James Nord

A 24-year-old man who allegedly killed University of Minnesota research associate Ethan Johnson in a car accident late Monday night was charged with two counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide.

Police apprehended Kevin Roger Doerr, 24, at a home on the 2700 block of 18th Avenue South early Tuesday morning after he fled the scene of a crash involving Johnson and his family, according to a criminal complaint dated Wednesday.

Doerr, who had been drinking before the crash, his girlfriend said, drove through a stop sign and “T-boned” Johnson’s 1994 Mazda at about 11 p.m. Monday in the intersection of 35th Street East and 18th Avenue South in Minneapolis, according to the complaint.

Police estimate Doerr was driving about 61 mph, more than double the speed limit, when he blew the stop sign and crushed the driver’s side of Johnson’s Mazda.

“[Doerr’s] 2001 Chevrolet struck a sign and fire hydrant before coming to rest against a retaining wall near the sidewalk,” according to the complaint. Both vehicles sustained “severe damage.”

Unlike Johnson, 37, who was critically injured and later died at Hennepin County Medical Center, Doerr was able to leave the scene of the accident on foot.

A witness followed Doerr as he fled west from the accident, but was unable to catch him.

Police found Doerr hours later with his girlfriend and at least three other acquaintances in a Minneapolis home.

Doerr and his girlfriend, Amber Schaaf, could have been transporting a handgun and methamphetamine from Northern Minnesota, according to the complaint. Police found “a clear bag with suspected narcotics” when they took Doerr into custody. His bail is set at $150,000.

Johnson’s wife and parents were transported to HCMC after the accident and treated for injuries. His wife and stepmother sustained minor injuries, and his father was in stable condition as of Wednesday night.

Johnson was a research associate in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics.