Authorities in Minnesota have charged the driver of an SUV who allegedly entered an intersection filled with protesters with second degree murder, saying his license was suspended after a string of drunk driving arrests dating back to more than of a decade.
Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charges Wednesday, describing Sunday’s crash that killed a woman and injured another as a “violent intentional act.”
NBC News affiliate KARE reported that the victim was Deona Marie, 31.
Nicholas D. Kraus, 35, is currently jailed on $ 1 million bail and is due in court on Thursday, according to Hennepin County court records.
Kraus faces three counts, including second degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon, according to a criminal complaint.
He allegedly drove his SUV through an intersection blocked by vehicles and protesters, hitting a parked car against protesters, with a witness claiming his vehicle was speeding up as protesters approached, according to Freeman.
Protesters were there to protest the fatal shooting of a black man, Winston Boogie Smith, by the US Marshals earlier this month.
In an ad that included details of a separate driving homicide that also took place over the past weekend, Freeman said his office was “shocked at this level of violence on our streets,” and described the alleged role of Kraus in his fatal accident as “an extreme and violent intentional act.”
“[Kraus’s] The behavior and admission of intentionally driving towards protesters is one of the major reasons we charged him with second degree intentional murder, ”Freeman said in a press release.
Freeman also noted that officers believed Kraus was drunk at the time of the incident.
It was not immediately clear whether Kraus had an attorney, according to the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office.