A man said he was “freaked out” by a couple who were walking in Eagan last year and that’s why he deliberately drove his vehicle into them killing both.
The Dakota County Attorney has announced that Jonna Kojo Armartey, formerly of Eagan, pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of second-degree murder involving intent in connection with deliberately driving his vehicle into 58-year-old Diane Peterson and 74-year-old Roger Peterson on June 28, 2018.
According to the criminal complaint, shortly before 10:00 p.m. on June 28, Eagan police officers were dispatched to a parking lot on a report of two people in need of medical attention. When officers arrived, they found both Diane and Roger Peterson struggling to breathe. Both were transported to Regions Hospital where they were pronounced dead. The injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma.
Witnesses at the scene provided statements that the Petersons had been struck by a silver van, which sped away from the scene. A short time later, officers responded to a report that a mini-van matching this description was in a parking lot of a restaurant less than one mile from the initial scene. Officers observed a Dodge Caravan with front-end damage and the majority of the windshield was cracked. Diane Peterson’s cell phone was found wedged under the passenger side windshield wiper. It was learned that the registered owner of the mini-van had sold it to Armartey months earlier.
In an interview, Armartey stated he saw the Petersons and that they “freaked him out” so he ran them over “going fast and hit them hard.”
According to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines grid, Armartey could face a minimum of 261 months on each count. Sentencing is scheduled for October 11.
Minnesota Crime Watch & Information offers citizen-powered news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.