Guilty plea in crash that killed Fridley mom, sons

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 15, 2011 - 10:43 PM

Rufus O. Victor could spend 45 years in prison after pleading guilty on Monday to charges stemming from a car crash in which he killed a woman and her two young sons while fleeing police in a stolen car.

The crash in the early morning hours of Dec 5, a Sunday, killed Amanda J. Thomas, 29, of Fridley, and her sons, Andre Mack, 12, and Akeron Thomas, 3 months. They were returning home from a Hanukkah celebration when the crash occurred near Broadway Avenue and N. 2nd Street.

Victor, 29, pleaded guilty to three counts of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle with death as jury selection for his trial got underway. He will be sentenced Sept. 15. If he is given consecutive sentences, state guidelines call for 45 years in prison, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's office.

He was driving a stolen car and has a long criminal record. He's been convicted of assault, burglary, auto theft and myriad other crimes. Charges filed in connection with the crash said he was traveling as fast as 90 miles per hour and ran at least two red lights before he hit Thomas' car.

According to subsequent charges, he fled on foot and then begged officers to kill him when he was captured.

The charges said a trooper saw Victor's car changing lanes erratically on westbound Interstate 94. Victor exited at Dowling Avenue, and the trooper turned on his emergency lights, then his siren and spotlight.

The crash happened about a minute after the chase began, the State Patrol said.

Police reported that the driver's side of Thomas' car was pushed halfway into the interior compartment. She and her son Andre, who was thrown from the car, died at the scene.

Akeron, who was in a car seat in the back, was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

Pat Pheifer • 612-673-7252

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