On January 5, 2019, Haimanot Gebremedhin was struck by a car in a fatal hit-and-run accident. The driver of the vehicle, Breyona Cotton, pulled over but didn’t get out of her car; later, she would tell investigators that she thought she hit a deer. When Cotton didn’t see Gebremedhin from her car window, she continued driving home. However, once Cotton saw social media posts detailing the incident, she immediately drove her damaged car to the police station and explained the situation. The case is currently being investigated by local law enforcement agencies.
CBS Minnesota interviewed our very own Joseph Tamburino about the case. According to Attorney Tamburino, Cotton is utilizing the “Amy Senser defense,” which refers to a case back in 2012 when Amy Senser was sentenced to over three years in prison for killing Anousone Phanthavong in a hit-and-run accident. Senser maintains that she didn’t realize she hit a person when the accident occurred. Attorney Tamburino, who closely followed Senser’s case, explained to CBS Minnesota that “The law requires that if you get into a collision, whether it’s in another vehicle or a person or whatever it is, you have a duty to inspect and make reasonable efforts to inspect what you hit.”
Like Amy Senser, Cotton could be convicted with felony vehicular manslaughter for hitting Gebremedhin and not taking appropriate measures to evaluate the accident scene. In Minnesota, hit-and-run accidents can be charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses depending on the victim’s injuries and the circumstances surrounding the collision. If convicted, a defendant could face serious legal penalties including costly fines, license suspension, and imprisonment.
Contact a Trial Tested Lawyer Today
If you require legal representation after a hit-and-run accident, contact the Minneapolis attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. Our legal team has over 100 years of collective experience and has been representing clients in both state and federal courts since 1983.
Our legal team is available 24/7. Call Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free consultation.