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Minot woman charged with attempted murder in 2019 crash on US 83

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A Minot woman accused of crashing into a motorcyclist at more than 100 mph and sending him under the wheels of a semitrailer on U.S. Highway 83 two years ago has been charged with attempted murder, court documents show.

Dazechnae Willis, 28, was arrested in Colorado and extradited to North Dakota. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for her on Oct. 13. She also is charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. Her two young children were passengers in the vehicle she was driving.

The amount of time that elapsed between the Aug. 28, 2019, incident and the warrant "was due to the complex nature of the investigation and getting records to determine appropriate charges," Burleigh County State's Attorney Julie Lawyer told the Tribune on Friday.

Willis was southbound on the highway about 4 miles north of Baldwin -- between Bismarck and Wilton -- when her SUV struck Kelsey Schaefer, who was riding a 1996 Harley Davidson, from the rear. Investigators say she was going 107 mph and “there was no braking input on Willis’ part” before her SUV hit the motorcycle, according to a Highway Patrol affidavit.

The impact sent Schaefer and the motorcycle under the wheels of an adjacent semitrailer. He suffered a serious brain injury and multiple other injuries that required months of hospitalization and physical therapy, the patrol said. Willis and her children were not injured.

Both the patrol and Lawyer said there is no indication that Willis and Schaefer knew one another. Authorities haven't elaborated on what might have led up to the alleged incident.

Willis made her initial court appearance Friday. Court documents don't list an attorney for her. Attempted murder carries a possible 20-year prison sentence.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or


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