Uzong guilty of striking,dragging woman in parking lot

Monday, August 31, 2015

A jury convicted Vanessa Uzong of criminal vehicular operation for running down a woman after a fight, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Uzong, 24, of Minneapolis will be sentenced Oct. 12. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines call for a probation sentence, but prosecutors will ask that she also spend the same amount of time in the county workhouse as her victim spent in the hospital, Freeman said. That would be about six months.

According to the criminal complaint and testimony in the trial, which ended Thursday, Uzong and her friends were in a physical fight with the victim and her friends the evening of Oct. 18. The groups separated and Uzong got behind the wheel of her Dodge Magnum. As she was driving too fast through the parking lot near Hennepin Avenue and Fifth Street, she struck the victim, dragging her until striking another car.

Uzong’s lawyer argued it was simply an accident. The jury deliberated about three hours Friday before finding Uzong guilty. The jury acquitted her of first-degree assault.