A judge has convicted a man of murder for intentionally running over a motorcyclist with his SUV in north Minneapolis last summer before fleeing.
Quantelize Welch, 32, was found guilty by Hennepin County District Judge Thomas Conley last week of second-degree intentional and unintentional murder, and criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the hit-and-run crash on July 20, 2021, in an alley that killed Caleb T. Hutchins, 26, of Brooklyn Center.
Welch remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail ahead of sentencing scheduled for Aug. 3.
Welch was driving an SUV when he ran over Hutchins as the man rode the dirt bike in an alley south of Lowry Avenue between Penn and Queen avenues.
A witness told police that Hutchins was test-driving the motorcycle when the SUV followed him into the alley and ran into him before speeding off, according to the criminal complaint. The damaged SUV was later found in the area of N. 33rd Avenue and N. 6th Street.
That witness said they knew Welch from seeing him around the neighborhood.
Police said that at least three people picked Welch out of a photo lineup after witnessing portions of the incident.
In summarizing the facts brought out during the trial, Conley wrote that a witness testified that Welch "was angry because he believed that someone had stolen a motorcycle from him, and that whoever had stolen it from him was 'gonna get it.' "
Welch's attorney, William Selman, told the Star Tribune that nothing came out during the trial to connect his client with the motorcycle that Hutchins was riding.
On the larger question of Welch's guilt or innocence, Selman said the defense contended that someone else not identified was the driver who ran over Hutchins.