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Ashland man enters plea in vehicular homicide

An Ashland man accused of being behind the wheel in a fatal 2014 crash in the town of Maple will be sentenced next month.

Derek Lee Nelis, 46, pleaded no contest Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court to felony homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint:

A vehicle driven by Nelis traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 2 crossed the centerline into the eastbound traffic lane in front of a semi-truck the morning of Aug. 16, 2014. The driver of the semi-truck told Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Holmstrom that Nelis' vehicle came straight toward him without swerving or making any evasive maneuvers.

The passenger in Nelis' vehicle, Gabrielle Bressette, died as a result of the crash.

A blood draw conducted after the crash showed Nelis had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his blood.

Judge George Glonek ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.

Sentencing is set for March 29. The class G felony carries a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.

Three counts of felony bail jumping connected with a 2016 incident were dismissed.