Bail set for driver accused in fatal hit-and-run of cyclist

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 10, 2013 - 8:37 PM

Jessica Hanson was killed in a hit-and-run accident while she was bicycling in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood.

Bail was set at $10,000 Wednesday for the Minneapolis man accused in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist last week, despite a prosecutor’s requests for a higher amount.

Abdimahran Abdi Ali, 25, made his first appearance in Hennepin County District Court, one day after he was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Jessica Hanson, 24, was riding her bicycle on Pleasant Avenue S. near 28th Street around 10:30 p.m. July 3 when she was struck. Police say Ali ran a stop sign and was speeding with his lights turned off when he struck her. A witness took down his license plate number and police tracked down the car. Charges say Ali called police Friday and admitted hitting a person, claiming that someone had been shooting at his car and that the crash occurred as he was driving away. He turned himself in Monday.

Ali, who has since declined to speak with investigators, rested on his elbows and looked on as Assistant County Attorney Charles Gerlach argued for higher bail, citing Ali’s number of arrests and convictions, including driving with a canceled license and having an open alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, as well as a series of warrants for failing to make court appearances. Ali’s public defender, Michelle Monteiro, argued that Ali is not a flight risk because he has lived in the country 17 years, is a U.S. citizen and attends community college in the Twin Cities area.

Judge Fred Karasov set Ali’s bail at $50,000 without conditions and $10,000 with conditions, including no contact with witnesses, no driving and no alcohol use. Ali will make his next court appearance Aug. 15.

Ali is the older brother of Ahmed Shire Ali, 21, who is serving an 18-year prison sentence for the January 2010 robbery and slaying of three men at a convenience store in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood. Ahmed Ali was the accomplice in the crime and testified against the shooter, Mahdi Ali, who is serving a life sentence.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Abdirahman and Ahmed Ali’s sister, Hani Ali, said her brother was out getting food for his sisters when the crash occurred. She declined to discuss the case further.

ABBY SIMONS

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