MINNEAPOLIS, MN — A judge sentenced Michael Laurence Campbell to 52 months in prison in the criminal vehicular homicide of 20-year-old Ria Patel, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.
In the early morning of Sept. 17, Campbell was driving a Ford Focus and smashed into a semaphore on Stinson Boulevard near Ridgeway Parkway, killing Patel who was in the passenger seat.
Campbell ran from the scene to his home and later in the day took an Uber to St. Michael where he grew up. It wasn’t until two days later that he was arrested.
A Hennepin County District Court jury found Campbell, 21, guilty last month of all three charges against him. In court Thursday afternoon, members of Patel’s family gave impact statements.
Raveena Patel, Ria’s cousin, said she had spent almost every day of her life with the woman she called her sister and best friend, from the time they were babies until the day Ria Patel died.
Hitesh Patel, Ria’s uncle, admonished Campbell for running from the scene of the accident and lying to their family, which caused them more pain and suffering.
When handing down his sentence, Judge Fred Karasov said to Campbell, “Only you know if you were drunk or not. Only you know if you were speeding or not. Only you know why you left the scene.”
Karasov also remarked that Campbell never came forward and he was troubled that Campbell never took responsibility for his actions. The judge also stated that the fact that Campbell lied to the Patel family after the crash factored into his sentencing decision.
Karasov detailed Campbell’s driving offenses since receiving his license at 16. Those violations included liquor consumption, marijuana and five for speeding.