Nicholas Kraus Wiki – Nicholas Kraus Bio
Nicholas Kraus is a Saint Paul man accused of killing Deona Knajdek by plowing his SUV into a protest in Minneapolis. Kraus has several previous DWI and other traffic offence convictions, according to Minnesota court records.
Kraus was detained by protesters at the June 13, 2021, incident and taken into custody by police. Deona Marie Erickson was killed, and three other people were injured, police said.
He is 35 years old.
According to a press release from Minneapolis Police, Kraus is accused of ramming his SUV into a parked car about 11:40 p.m. as people gathered at Lake Street and Girard Avenue to protest the police shooting death of Winston Smith.
According to Erickson’s brother, she had parked her car in a barricade to protect the protesters. Erickson’s brother, Garrett Knajdek, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the SUV hit her parked car and sent the vehicle into his sister, causing fatal injuries.
The Minneapolis Police Department released few details about the incident and said an investigation is ongoing. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office has not yet released Erickson’s cause of death. Her two young daughters survived the 31-year-old woman, her family says.
The Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement, “At 11:39 pm on Sunday, Minneapolis Police were monitoring a protest in the area of West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South when they observed, on camera, a vehicle travelling eastbound on Lake Street and drive into a group of protesters. Additional squads were called to the scene, as were several ambulances. Protesters pulled the suspect from the vehicle and began to strike the driver from reports of witnesses.
Officers arrived and took custody of the driver. Crime Lab personnel responded to document the scene and collect evidence. Homicide detectives are involved and working with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Traffic Investigative Unit. Preliminary investigation indicates that the use of drugs or alcohol by the driver may be a contributing factor in this crash.”
Witnesses disputed the police department’s statement that Kraus was pulled from the car by protesters, saying he exited the SUV on his own and tried to flee from the scene before he was detained and turned over to police. Protesters also criticized the response time from police and ambulances.
Kraus is being held at the Hennepin County Jail without bail, online records show. The jail record shows Kraus was arrested by Minneapolis Police and booked at 4:17 a.m. on June 14. His street address is not listed in the documents, but his city is listed as St. Paul, Minnesota.
According to online records viewed by Heavy, Kraus has several driving while intoxicated and other traffic offences on his criminal record in Minnesota dating back to 2007. He was convicted of DWI in 2007, again in 2009, in 2012, and 2016. A sixth DWI charge in 2013 was dismissed as part of a careless driving plea. His 2012 and 2016 DWI charges were both felonies.
Kraus has also been convicted of speeding, driving with no proof of insurance, driving without a license, and twice going with a cancelled appointment. In 2018, he was sentenced to a year of probation and ten days in the McLeod County jail after pleading guilty to driving with a revoked license. He was given credit for two days served and was allowed to serve the remainder of the jail time on weekends.
Kraus was wanted on a warrant for violating his probation stemming from his 2016 DWI arrest. In that felony case in 2017 to 244 days in jail, he was sentenced with credit for 244 days he had already served at the Anoka County Jail, along with a stayed prison sentence of seven years. He was placed on probation for seven years.