Minnetrista Man Pleads Guilty in Daughter's Death after SUV Went through Ice

Updated: 10/30/2013 11:31 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

Jonathan Markle
Jonathan Markle
Photo: Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

A Minnetrista man pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal vehicular homicide in the death of his infant daughter, who died when the family's vehicle went through the ice on Lake Minnetonka.

After the plea, a Hennepin County judge sentenced 41-year-old Jonathan Markle to 57 months in prison but stayed the sentence and put him on five years of probation. He'll also have to give 100 speeches on the dangers of drunk driving.

If Markle successfully completes the probation, he won't have to serve any prison time, and eventually his charge will be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

Markle had a blood alcohol level of .13 two hours after his Nissan Rogue broke through the ice on Jan. 18, according to prosecutors.

Markle, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter were able to get out of the SUV. Eight-month-old Tabitha was trapped underwater for 15 minutes before being rescued by firefighters. She died at a hospital three days later.