Driver in fatal hit- and-run crash given 1 year in jail

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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ST. PAUL  — A driver who struck and killed a pedestrian in St. Paul and then fled the scene has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Robert Kinney, 58, of Maplewood was sentenced Monday in Ramsey County District Court after being convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in the January death of John Benjamin.

According to a criminal complaint, Kinney drank eight double shots of vodka over three hours at the 5-8 Tavern and Grill and left the bar shortly before Benjamin was struck.

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The 68-year-old victim was hit while walking near his home about 8:30 p.m. Jan. 22 and was found facedown in a snowbank near an intersection.

Days passed before Kinney was arrested at his home, so a blood alcohol test could not be administered to determine if he was intoxicated at the time of the crash, the Star Tribune  reported.

District Judge JaPaul Harris also sentenced Kinney to 15 years of probation.