Michael Campbell sentenced 4 years for causing the death of Ria Patel

Ria Patel
Ria Patel (Courtesy of Facebook her account)

The court had found Campell guilty last month after he was arrested by the police two days after the incident.

A Hennepin County Courtroom was overwhelmed with emotions as the judge played the final vacation photos and childhood photos of the Indian American 20-year-old girl Ria Patel, who was left to die inside a car by her boyfriend after they met with an accident.

Patel was killed after her boyfriend Michael Campbell, 21, who was apparently under the influence of alcohol, crashed his car in northeast Minneapolis and on seeing Patel bleeding fled the scene in September 2017.

On Thursday, the court sentenced Campbell to four years in prison and an additional 90 days for violating probation for his previous-hit-and-run case.

The court had found Campell guilty last month after he was arrested by the police two days after the incident.

The court found that Campbell, despite knowing about the accident, lied to Patel’s parents when they asked him about her whereabouts. The 21-year-old had crashed his car on a traffic signal and sustained injuries from the accident, it was only after the police took him into custody that he was administered with medicines.

The accident had caused blunt injuries on Patel’s head that caused her death.

It was the police officers who came for Patel’s rescue, a junior at the St. Thomas University. Though she was given first aid, the massive head injury turned out to be fatal.

Patel’s parents were present at the court during the sentencing but refused to comment about the verdict.

According to eyewitness accounts, soon after the accident, they saw the driver of the car getting out and running to a nearby McDonald’s. A common friend of Patel and Campbell was earlier quoted saying that Campbell was “super drunk” when he left the party held to celebrate the birthday of Patel’s sister Raveena.

Raveena testified before the Hennepin County Court that Campbell on asking about what happened to her sister almost 9 hours after the deadly accident, denied that he took her out in his car.

It was only later that he confessed to Raveena that while at wheel he tried kissing Patel and lost sight of the road, crashing into a traffic pole that came crashing down to the passenger side where Patel was seated, fatally injuring her.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Fred Karasov also listed the charges filed against Campbell since he was 16 which include overspeeding, underage liquor consumption, marijuana in a motor vehicle, property-damage hit-and-run and probation violation in connection to the hit-and-run.

“Here we are with a tragic accident that happened as a result of your driving,” Karasov said after reading out the list.

Campbell told the court that he loved Patel and wanted to live with her. He also apologized.

The judge said Patel could have been saved if Campbell had not run away from the scene and sought help. He also said that the truth about whether he was drunk or over speeding will come out. Karasov also found Campbell “grossly negligent” for leaving Patel at the mercy of the officers who later came to her aid.

The Judge also slammed the defense for bringing in the incident of kissing inside the car. Karasov asked Campbell, “She didn’t force you into taking your eyes off the road. She didn’t force you to kiss her back.”

Patel’s uncle Hitesh Patel who spoke to the media after the sentencing said, “Today marks the closure of a six-month tragic journey for the family. We don’t want any other family to go through the pain and suffering we have gone through the last six months.

When a reporter asked him about Campbell’s apology in the court, Hitesh said, “I think it’s just a little too late.”

Also Read

Indian American student Ria Patel killed in fatal car crash in Minneapolis

September 22, 2017

Campbell is currently being held on $250,000 bail.

One Comment

  1. Dank Tyre

    The punishment is not enough considering the gravity of the crime

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