- Nicholas Kraus, 35, was allegedly drunk at the time
- Deona Knajdek, 31, was killed and two other protesters injured
A St Paul man accused of speeding up and driving into a group of protesters in Minneapolis while he was drunk, killing one person, will appear in court on Thursday after being charged late on Wednesday with intentional second-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Nicholas Kraus, 35, was visibly intoxicated on Sunday night when he sped up and tried to “jump” a car that was being used as a barricade by protesters in the city’s Uptown neighborhood. Deona Knajdek, 31, also known as Deona Erickson, was killed.
The criminal complaint contains nothing to suggest Kraus’s actions were motivated by political views or anger at protesters, specifically.
The murder count alleges Kraus intended to cause death, but his actions were not premeditated.
He is also charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, for injuring two other protesters.
According to the complaint, Kraus told officers he saw the car and believed he needed to get over it.
He said he saw people in the area, but “he accelerated in order to try and jump the barricade and acknowledged that he did not attempt to brake”, the complaint says.
It also says he admitted that he thought he might have hit someone. Kraus will make his first court appearance on Thursday and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.
He is being held at the Hennepin county jail.
Protests have been ongoing in Uptown since members of a US Marshals Service taskforce fatally shot Winston Boogie Smith Jr, a 32-year-old black man and father of three, on 3 June.
Authorities said they were trying to arrest Smith on a warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm when he displayed a handgun from inside a parked SUV.
Authorities also say evidence shows Smith fired his gun from inside the SUV, but a female passenger has said she never saw him with a gun.