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Man found guilty in assault that killed Medtronic scientist

Erik Kravchuk was convicted of unintentional 2nd-degree murder, 1st-degree manslaughter and 5th-degree assault in connection to Aleksandre Sambelashvili's death.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's Note: The above video first aired on Sept. 13, 2019.

A 30-year-old Golden Valley man was found guilty Thursday of all three charges he faced after fatally hitting a 42-year-old scientist for Medtronic at a downtown Minneapolis bar in 2019.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney, Erik Kravchuk was convicted of unintentional second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and fifth-degree assault in connection to Aleksandre Sambelashvili's death. Kravchuk's sentencing will take place Dec. 6, 2021.

The criminal complaint says around 1:30 a.m. July 28, Sambelashvili approached Kravchuk at a bar on South 5th Street in Minneapolis. The complaint says surveillance video shows Sambelashvili "does not appear aggressive and no sign of conflict is apparent." Then, the complaint says the video shows Kravchuk "suddenly and violently" headbutted Sambelashvili, who "appears to be immediately knocked unconscious" before falling backward and hitting his head on the floor. Court records say Sambelashvili was admitted to HCMC with a brain injury, where he remained until he died from those injuries on Aug. 23, 2019. 

“The brazen, violent and ultimately fatal action committed by Mr. Kravchuk resulted in the death of an innocent man,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a press release. “The jury found the defendant guilty of all counts, and he will be sentenced accordingly. The time he will serve in prison does not bring back the life of the victim, and certainly does not make the loss his family and friends are suffering go away either. My thoughts go out to them during this time.”

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