No Prison Time Given for Homeless St. Paul Driver Who Killed Thief

A 32-year-old woman who fatally struck a man with her SUV in October after he allegedly stole from her and her partner in St. Paul was given a 180-day work release sentence on Monday.

Additionally, Landis Rachel Hill must show up at the Ramsey County Detention Center on the anniversary of Al Rakip Zaidi’s passing and complete an extra 30 days of work release every year for the next three.

A 57-month jail sentence was suspended by Ramsey County District Judge JaPaul Harris for an eight-year period of closely monitored probation. The sentence deviated negatively from the state’s standards.

On June 13, Hill entered a plea deal in which the prosecution agreed to drop the accusation of unintended second-degree murder in exchange for her admission to criminal vehicular homicide.

On October 5, Zaidi was discovered close to Regions Hospital at 10th and Broadway streets. The St. Paul guy suffered severe brain injuries and passed away on the spot.

Following her allegation of Zaidi’s death, police detained Hill and her boyfriend, Christopher Dwayne Grayson, on the same day on suspicion of murder. The following day, Ramsey County prosecutors filed charges against Hill but not against Grayson.

Around three in the morning on October 5, Hill dialed 911 from the police station’s lobby. Near Eighth and Olive streets, she claimed, a guy entered the driver’s door and stole a smartphone and some cash from the front seat as her and Grayson were sleeping in the back seat of their 2001 Ford Expedition.

She claimed that after shouting at him, he asked them if they wanted to die before fleeing with the looted goods.

Hill drove after the man while Grayson followed after him with a baseball bat. She said that she hit him with the car while it was close to Pine Street and the I-35E entry ramp. Officers searched the area the pair mentioned but came up empty-handed.

A truck driver reported seeing Zaidi dead on the side of the road about an hour later.

Later on October 5, the couple saw detectives at police headquarters. According to the criminal complaint, Hill said that when Grayson was unable to capture Zaidi, she pursued him and struck Zaidi as she was moving between 40 and 50 miles per hour.

The lawsuit stated that Hill shouted at the guy to return their belongings. Hill claimed she was sick of people stealing her belongings.

Grayson reported to the police that on July 5, both he and Hill were robbed.

When they left Zaidi, Hill saw that his leg was twitching. She was outraged, but Grayson persuaded her that they should call the police and they went to the neighboring station.

According to a representative for the county attorney’s office at the time, Grayson wasn’t prosecuted because there wasn’t enough proof to show that he helped and abetted Hill.

Hill, who has already served 45 days in prison, must start completing the remaining 180 days of her sentence on August 8.

Hill has reportedly worked in food preparation or doing dishes at a South Minneapolis butcher shop and deli since December 2021, according to court records. A number of Hill’s coworkers sent letters of support to the judge on her behalf.

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