Driver who killed Minneapolis protester in 2021 to be sentenced Wednesday

By FOX 9 Staff

PublishedNovember 23, 2022 8:10AM

Updated 8:12AM

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – The man who drove a car into a group of protesters, killing one, in Minneapolis in June 2021 will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Nicholas Kraus pleaded guilty in October to two of the three charges against him: second-degree murder and second-degree assault. A third charge of second-degree assault was dropped.

Prosecutors said Kraus plowed his SUV through a protest at the intersection of West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South in Uptown. The intersection had been blocked off by protesters after federal task force members shot and killed Winston Smith, a 32-year-old Black man. 

In court in October, Kraus admitted he drove into the barricades and crowd on purpose. But, under questioning, said, “I don’t know what my intent was.” He also admitted to being under the influence of an illegal narcotic at the time of the crash and to suffering from a mental health issue, including hearing voices. 

The sentencing hearing begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. This story will be updated.