HomeTop StoriesThe man accused in the death of Melissa Rack is changing his...

The man accused in the death of Melissa Rack is changing his plea to guilty again

May 20 – Darin Douglas Finley, the man accused of killing Melissa Rack in a fatal collision in December 2022, has again agreed to plead guilty.

Finley, 37, agreed to a plea deal Monday in Mower County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of felony murder. According to court documents, as part of the guilty plea, the state agreed to recommend a dispositional departure, meaning the court could order something different than what is required by the guidelines.

There would also be probation and a 180-day jail sentence, with credit for time served. A fine may also be imposed in this case.

The official sentencing is set for September 12.

This is the second time Finley has pleaded guilty in the case. In September 2023, he agreed to plead guilty to being the driver of a criminal vehicular homicide causing an accident and fleeing the scene, but a court plea for probation in lieu of prison time was rejected.

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Subsequently, Finley’s agreement to plead guilty was rescinded and the case was scheduled to go to trial in May.

Finley was convicted of beating Rack late in the evening on December 30, 2022. She was found lying in the roadway of Oakland Place SE near Oakland Avenue SE around 11:18 p.m., not breathing and without a pulse. Lifesaving efforts at the scene and at Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Austin were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Witnesses at the scene said they saw Finley at the scene, including one who said they saw a man kneel as if to pick something up and then run back to the vehicle and drive off eastbound on Oakland Avenue East.

When officers finally contacted Finley, he told them he had no idea what happened and that he didn’t remember driving. He is also said to have previously told a family member that he had hit a deer.

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Officers also noted that Finley appeared to be intoxicated. When asked how much to drink that day, Finley replied “that’s another question I don’t know,” and then refused a breath test.

A preliminary breath test administered later returned .063.

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