Dustin Henger Royce pleaded guilty June 6 to one count of vehicular homicide in his involvement in a car versus bicycle accident that resulted in the death of Jose Hernandes Solano. In exchange for his cooperation, charges against Royce’s mother, Abbey Hegner were dropped. Hegner Royce was sentenced to four years in prison on August 15. According to the Pioneer Press, prosecutors opted to dismiss the charges against Abbey Hegner as a means to help secure a guilty plea from her son, the Ramsey County attorney’s office announced Monday.
Just after midnight on November 26, 2017 the 52 year-old Hernandes Solano was biking home from his job at Brasa on Grand Avenue. He was wearing a helmet and had a safety light. Cameras showed him being struck near the intersection of Grand and West 7th by what was suspected to be a green Hyundai Santa-Fe.
Dustin Hegner Royce admitted to the accident, saying he was was driving his mother’s Hyundai Santa-Fe away from a “road-rage” incident and ran a red light at Grand Avenue and West Seventh Street, striking Hernandez Solano and fleeing the scene. He then went to Keenan’s Bar, where his mother was working as a bartender. She followed him to his place of work in South St. Paul, he said in testimony at the plea hearing. He said left the car there and drove away together. The vehicle involved has yet to be recovered.
The two were arrested in December, but soon released. At the time, Abbey Hegner told officers she had sold her Santa Fe four days prior the crash to an “unknown Mexican or Somali male,” according to court documents.
- Hegner Royce was sentenced to four years in prison on Aug. 15. Two days later, prosecutors dropped the charges against his mother.
- Charges dropped against woman suspected of aiding son after St. Paul biker’s hit-and-run death [PiPress]
- Two Arrested in Hit and Run Accident of Brasa Employee [ETC]
- Brasa Employee Succumbs to Hit and Run Accident Injuries [ETC]