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Woman arrested in Minnesota after escaping Cass County jail, ramming patrol car

Mary Ann Burns

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – A Texas woman who was serving time for negligent homicide in the Cass County (N.D.) jail was arrested after police say she rammed a patrol car with a stolen car in Alexandria early Friday.

At 1:35 a.m., Mary Ann Burns, 36, of Dayton Liberty, Texas, was found slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle on the lawn of Alexandria Dock Works in Alexandria.

The vehicle was reportedly stolen from North Dakota. Burns had also escaped from the Cass County jail in March. 

Officers from Alexandria Police Department were able to wake Burns but she wouldn’t shut off the vehicle or open the door.

After several attempts to get her to shut off the vehicle and open the door, Burns backed up her vehicle into the squad parked behind her, causing damage to the squad.

She was eventually removed from the vehicle and arrested by police for possession of a stolen vehicle.

She wouldn’t identify herself at the time of the arrest.

Officers later discovered her ID and found she was wanted for escaping custody while serving time for an original charge of negligent homicide.

Burns was sentenced to five years in prison for a crash that killed her passenger in September of 2011 in Fargo. Burns entered an Alford plea to negligent homicide November 22, 2011. An Alford plea means she didn’t admit guilt but said there was reportedly enough evidence for a conviction.

Burns was driving a pickup that crashed into the North Dakota Air Guard base, after missing a dead-end, launching into the air, and crashing into a fence. Harold Pinkney, 55, was killed. The state's attorney's office said Burns took responsibility and would undergo treatment, according to archive news stories.

Burns escaped from the Cass County jail in Fargo in March. She had been granted temporary leave and did not return, according to a warrant for her arrest.

Burns was booked into Douglas County Jail on Friday morning.

Alexandria police say other charges are pending and the case remains under investigation.

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