Jurors convicted a Golden Valley man of striking another man and causing a fatal fall during a private party in a downtown Minneapolis bar.
Erik Kravchuk, 30, was convicted Thursday in Hennepin County District Court of unintentional second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and fifth-degree assault in connection with confrontation on July 28, 2019, when Aleksandre Sambelashvili, was hit by Kravchuk and fell to the floor.
Sambelashvili, 42, died from brain injuries nearly a month later at HCMC.
Kravchuck's sentencing before Judge Jay Quam has been scheduled for Dec. 6 at 9 a.m. Kravchuck remains jailed without bail.
"The brazen, violent and ultimately fatal action committed by Mr. Kravchuk resulted in the death of an innocent man," County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. "The time he will serve in prison does not bring back the life of the victim, and certainly does not make the loss his family and friends are suffering go away either."
Authorities said Kravchuk, seemingly unprovoked, struck Sambelashvili, a Medtronic research scientist, at an event at a bar on S. 5th Street.
The criminal complaint said that when police showed Kravchuk the video of the blow being inflicted, he said he did not know Sambelashvili and "refused to acknowledge that it was [Kravchuk] on video."
While the criminal complaint described Kravchuk hitting Sambelashvili with a head butt, evidence at trial revealed that it was a forearm strike, Freeman's spokeswoman, Lacey Severins, said Friday.
Sambelashvili was an MBA graduate from the University of Minnesota who earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He authored 17 peer-reviewed papers and filed more than 25 patents, and he developed an algorithm that "became a key cardiac rhythm therapy feature in Medtronic's products that helped hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from heart failure live fuller lives," according to an online obituary.
For his final 15 years, he had worked with Medtronic, most recently as a program director for the cardiac rhythm management division, the company confirmed on Thursday. In a statement, Medtronic said it extended its "deepest sympathies" to Sambelashvili's family.
Sambelashvili was survived by his wife, two young children, his mother and a brother.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482