Columbia Man Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal DWI Crash


In Jefferson County, a Columbia man was arrested due to the suspicion of killing a woman in a wrong-way drunken driving crash and pleads not guilty to the second-degree murder charge.

Police say that Dennis Leporin, age 29, hit and killed the 19-year-old Chelsea Fredrickson of Camdenton, Missouri and seriously injured her passenger, Jasper Richmond.

The fatal crash occurred just before 10:00 p.m. when Dennis Leporin’s 1999 Ford Ranger pickup truck collided with Chelsea’s 2003 Saturn Ion at the intersection of Highway 54 and 179. Leporin was traveling the wrong way on southbound Highway 54 and both vehicles were traveling at speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour.

Chelsea Fredrickson was killed on impact and Jasper Richmond received serious injuries. Jasper was life-flighted to the University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Leporin was taken to Capital Region Medical Center for minor injuries.

Neither Fredrickson nor Richmond was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Leporin was then arrested and transported to Cole County Jail where the Cole County Prosecutor charged him with the suspicion of second-degree murder, driving while license revoked/suspended, driving while intoxicated and being a persistent offender, second-degree assault and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.

Jefferson City’s police Capt. Doug Shoemaker said Leporin showed signs of intoxication and according to he has a history of driving offenses with two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated. In 2008, Leporin was charged with operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, involving a crash, and pleaded guilty with a fine of $400. In May 2011, he was charged with driving while intoxicated and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to community service, 120 days in Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, and two years of unsupervised probation.


The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles auto crash and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your auto crash or wrongful death case, please contact us today at 573-777-3333 or visit our website at The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.