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Woman sentenced for Burnett County hit-and-run death in 2020

33-year-old Tara Lynn Appleton was sentenced for the death of Preston Decorah in March of 2020.
33-year-old Tara Lynn Appleton of Webster pleaded no contest to 2nd-degree reckless homicide...
33-year-old Tara Lynn Appleton of Webster pleaded no contest to 2nd-degree reckless homicide and hit-and-run involving death in Burnett County Circuit Court on Monday.(WEAU)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 4:05 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A woman is sentenced for her role in the death of a man in Burnett County in 2020.

33-year-old Tara Lynn Appleton of Webster pleaded no contest to 2nd-degree reckless homicide and hit-and-run involving death in Burnett County Circuit Court on Monday.

Appleton was sentenced to four and a half years of prison and four years of extended supervision for each count to run concurrently. Appleton also receives 146 days of jail credit. The sentence includes a $1,000 fine and $250 DNA charge for each count for a total of $2,500.

Four other counts, including 1st-degree reckless homicide and homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the homicide case, were dismissed but read in as part of a plea agreement. Two other charges of possession of meth and bail jumping were dismissed but read in. Appleton still faces a charge of operating while intoxicated-3rd offense.

Preston Decorah of Webster, who was 27 years old at the time of his death, died from a head injury in March of 2020, according to the Burnett County Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy confirmed that Decorah died of an injury “consistent with a fall from a moving vehicle.” The investigation showed that Decorah was riding on the top of a moving vehicle and fell, and was left on the roadway for about an hour before being moved into a driveway. Appleton was driving the vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The man was found laying in the driveway by a person who called it in to 911. Decorah was airlifted to a hospital but died from his injuries.

Appleton is scheduled for a court appearance on April 8 for the remaining OWI charge, according to online court records.

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