A Coon Rapids man pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to driving his truck into his pregnant girlfriend, causing her to fly through the air, suffer a skull fracture and lose her sense of smell.
Jordan Z. Knoff, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in Ramsey County District Court. As part of his plea agreement, a first-degree assault charge was dropped. Prosecutors had planned to file attempted murder charges against Knoff if he proceeded to trial.
Second-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm in Minnesota is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Knoff won’t be sentenced until Oct. 22, but he’s expected to receive the high end of sentencing recommendations, which are to be determined. Knoff will also receive an additional 14 months in prison for aggravating factors in the case, including the fact that the unborn child was a second victim, the woman’s pregnancy made her especially vulnerable and because Knoff didn’t stop to render aid.
According to charges and Knoff’s testimony in court Thursday: Knoff and the woman were inside his truck in a Mounds View parking lot on May 15. The couple were arguing, and the woman got out.
Knoff accelerated the truck, turned the vehicle in a tight circle, chased the woman as she ran and struck her in the back. He pulled alongside the woman, yelled at her and drove off.
The woman, 18 at the time, also suffered bleeding on the brain.
Prosecutors said Thursday that the woman recently gave birth to the baby, who appears healthy. It’s unclear if the woman regained her sense of smell.