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Hennepin County court orders mental evaluation for man accused of murder in Uptown

Nicholas Kraus made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. His public defender requested a mental evaluation.

MINNEAPOLIS — Nicholas Kraus made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

He’s accused of driving his vehicle into a crowd of protesters in Uptown Minneapolis, killing one of them and injuring several others. Deona Marie, 31, has been identified as the woman who died.

During the court proceeding Thursday afternoon, Kraus' public defender requested a psychological evaluation to see if Kraus is mentally competent to move forward in the case.

The judge agreed to allow an evaluation and has put a hold on the bail decision until that evaluation can be performed.

Another court appearance has been scheduled for Aug. 3.

Kraus is currently being held at the Hennepin County Jail.

Kraus has been charged with three crimes in the case, including second-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.

Deona Marie's brother told KARE 11 she had parked her car at the scene of the demonstration to shield fellow activists who were protesting. He said Deona was apparently standing near her vehicle when the driver of the SUV crashed into it, which then hit her.

The demonstration was happening Sunday, June 13, in response to the shooting death of Winston Smith earlier this month by deputies on a federal task force.

Deona Marie's brother and parents said that she wanted to make an impact.

"She was probably the most wonderful person you could ever imagine. She would in the most literal sense tear the shirt off her back to make sure someone was warm," her brother Garrett Knajdek recalled.

RELATED: Man charged with murder in Uptown protester's death

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