Driver gets 39 months for killing bicyclist in Uptown hit-and-run

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A Minneapolis man will spend more than three years in prison for killing a woman riding her bicycle in a hit-and-run in Uptown in 2013.

Abdirahman Abdi Ali pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 39 months in prison on Tuesday – almost three years after the collision that killed 24-year-old Jessica Hanson, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced.

The case had been delayed again and again because Abdi – who was 24 when the incident happened – kept changing lawyers and because of several medical events involving attorneys.

At the sentencing, a photo of Hanson was placed before the courtroom and a five-minute video celebrating her life was shown, with statements read by her mother, father, brother, sister and cousin.

Hanson was riding her bike in the dark on July 3, 2013, and was at the intersection of Pleasant Ave. South and West 28th Street when a speeding car – which didn't have its lights on – struck her.

The bicyclist was seriously injured and died two days later at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Rather than stopping to help, Hanson drove off, but a witness was able to give police a license plate number – and Ali turned himself in upon learning his car had been traced.

As well as the prison sentence, Ali was ordered to pay $34,784.23 in restitution.

Hanson was born in Alexandria and was a student of West Central Area High School and later the Alexandria Technical College, according to her obituary.

She moved to Minneapolis to pursue a career in photography and had worked at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, as well as at Republic in Uptown.

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