Man charged with murder, assault pleads guilty

A man charged in connection to the death of a 31-year-old woman last year has taken a plea deal.

Nicholas Kraus, 36, is charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon following the death of Deona Knajdek.

His jury trial was scheduled to begin Monday until he decided to plead guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and one of the second-degree assault charges.

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Trial hearings were held earlier this year for Kraus’ case but stopped for reasons that are not listed in online court records.

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Investigators said they believed Kraus was drinking before he ran his vehicle into a parked vehicle last June. That vehicle then hit a crowd of protesters in Uptown, killing Knajdek and injuring three others.

Police said Kraus told them he admitted to accelerating because he was trying to jump a barricade. There had been ongoing protests in the area following the shooting death of Winston Smith.

Details of the plea agreement weren’t immediately available.

His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 23.