MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Abdirahman Abdi Ali appeared in court for the first time Wednesday, wearing handcuffs and orange jail scrubs. The 24-year-old is facing two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of bicyclist Jessica Hanson.
In court Ali, said few words but his attorney described him as college student who’s supposed to start school in the fall. She went on to say Ali and his family are U.S. citizens who have lived in Minnesota for 17 years.
Ali turned himself in to police on Monday for Hanson’s death. On July 3, officers responded to the scene of the hit-and-run at the intersection of West 28th Street and Pleasant Avenue South and found Hanson, 24, severely injured. She died two days later.
Witnesses told officers the car that hit Hanson failed to stop at the stop sign and struck Hanson, who was on her bicycle. According to the charges, witnesses say Ali did not have his headlights on and was traveling at a high rate of speed.
The criminal complaint says Ali told police he was fleeing from gunfire when collision occurred.
In court, the judge said Ali has had a history of traffic violations and other offenses including carrying a firearm without a permit, open container, running a red light and stop sign, also driving without insurance and giving police false information to police. He currently has a suspended license.
Ali will be back in court on Aug. 15.
In the meantime, Hanson’s family is holding a wake for her on Wednesday. On Thursday, funeral services will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church in Hoffman, Minn.