Fugitive driver sentenced to more than ten years in prison

Fugitive driver sentenced to more than ten years in prison
Fugitive driver sentenced to more than ten years in prison

Fugitive driver sentenced to more than 10 years in prison

A hit-and-run driver has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison, capping a St. Paul family’s roller-coaster ride through the criminal justice system. FOX 9’s Paul Blume has the details.

(FOX 9) A Ramsey County judge sentenced a motorist who fled the scene of a fatal accident in St. Paul to more than 11 years in prison.

The hit-and-run driver has a long criminal record and the victim’s family feels that time is not enough for the loss of his mother and grandmother.

“Having this whole process hanging over our heads has been difficult. It was difficult to get this closure. So I think I’m going to leave today with the shutdown,” Alison Annen’s daughter, Jennifer Cook, said after Friday’s sentencing.

It’s been a long road for Annen’s family, who spent months searching for the defendant, Xia Her-Xiong, after he failed to appear for his first sentencing in March.

“There’s never enough time he could have. My mother left. He still has freedom. I hope he realizes that. And he’s grateful for that,” said Jessica Ziolkowski, another daughter of Annen. The family has advocated for tougher consequences for driving homicide cases in Minnesota.

Ziolkowski told FOX 9’s Paul Blume, “It’s not an accident when you steal a car and run from the police. It’s not an accident. And 120 months for my mother’s life is not enough.”

It was almost two years ago now, in January 2021, when a seemingly drunk Her-Xiong was driving a stolen vehicle, when he rammed into Annen’s small PT cruiser on the streets of Saint -Paul. Annen, 60, was killed. A passenger in his car was seriously injured.

Adding insult to their loss, according to Annen’s loved ones, was the journey through the criminal justice system.

“I want to put that behind me,” Cook said. “I felt that the judge had done her best. It’s just a shame that a homicide can only carry ten years for killing someone. It is not fair.”

The family remains heartbroken Her-Xiong, who has a lengthy criminal record was released on bail after the fatal crash.

After he failed to show up for sentencing in March, it caused them to invest blood, sweat and tears in trying to find him themselves. Their homemade wanted notices eventually helped police bring the 33-year-old back into custody.

Many of Annen’s relatives wore matching t-shirts during Friday’s sentencing and provided powerful statements about the impact of victims in the courtroom.

In an emotional outburst, Annen’s son had to be escorted away by deputies after threatening to kill the defendant by choking him to death.

“I just hope that me and my brother and my sister can move on,” Ziolkowski concluded, still openly mourning the loss of his mother. “You know, it’s been 680 days. It’s too many days, too long.”

Just before this sentence was handed down, Her-Xiong had the opportunity to address the court. He turned around and apologized to the family, asked for forgiveness and promised to change.

“Looks like he has a criminal background. He just got tapped on the wrist every time. He hasn’t had time to be a way to think about what he’s done, so hopefully he can be out and think about now and make some changes.”

In an explosive courtroom moment, Annen’s son had to be escorted out of the courtroom by deputies when he threatened to kill the defendant for what he had done.

Her-Xiong faces additional criminal charges that could potentially add even more to his time behind bars.

In all, Ramsey Co District Judge Joy Bartscher ruled the legal maximum of ten years for Annen’s death. The judge added an additional 14 months for passenger Her-Xiong injured in the crash. These sentences will be served consecutively in the Minnesota Department of Corrections system.

Ultimately, by failing to show up for his original sentencing and accepting a negotiated plea deal with Ramsey County prosecutors, Her-Xiong lost his negotiated plea deal and was given nearly two full more years to serve. his sentence. He faces additional criminal charges that could also add to his total time in jail. Currently, online records indicate an expected release date of February 2030.

. Fugitive driver sentenced ten years prison