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A man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for driving into an Uptown Minneapolis protest last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul, was sentenced to 240 months in prison in Hennepin County Court Thursday.

On the night of June 13, 2021, Kraus drove into a protest near West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South, where protestors had gathered in response to the law enforcement killing of Winston Smith.

One of the people at the protest was Knajdek. She had parked her car as a barricade to protect the protesters, her brother told the Star Tribune.

In the criminal complaint, Kraus admitted that he had accelerated his SUV to get over the barricade. One witness at the scene said he was standing next to Knajdek when Kraus drove into the car being used as a barricade, hitting them both.

Knajdek was critically injured during the crash and later died at the hospital. Two other people were injured.

Last month, Kraus pleaded guilty to unintentional murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. 

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