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Charges against mother dropped in exchange for son’s plea in death of St. Paul bicyclist

September 25, 2018

Criminal charges were dropped against a woman in an effort to persuade her son to admit in court that he killed a bicyclist in St. Paul last year and fled the scene.

Abbey Rose Hegner, 48, of West St. Paul, was originally charged in March in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of aiding an offender after the fact. Authorities alleged at the time that she helped her son, Dustin J. Hegner Royce, evade police after he struck and killed Jose Hernandez Solano, 52, last November.

The charges against Hegner were dropped in August, In the Interest of Justice and in consideration for Dustin Hegner Royce pleading guilty for his criminal conduct, said Ramsey County attorney spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein.

We communicated this consideration to Dustin Hegner Royce as a part of plea negotiations, as well as with Jose Hernandez Solanos family and friends, he said. At the time of Dustin Hegner Royces guilty plea earlier this summer, there were challenges to understanding the full truth of what happened. We believe that our consideration of dismissing the charges against Dustins mother helped us get to the truth and secure accountability for Jose Hernandez Solano and our community. Otherwise we were facing the uncertainty of trial, which required the highest level of proof.

Hegner Royce, 29, pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced in August to four years in prison on one count of criminal vehicular homicide.

Hernandez Solano, 52, was leaving his job at Brasa Rotisserie when he was hit about 12:10 a.m. on Nov. 26. and left unconscious in a lane of traffic on W. 7th at Grand Avenue. He died Dec. 7 at Regions Hospital.

Surveillance video showed that Hegner Royce sped, passed other cars and ignored traffic control signals before he killed Hernandez Solano.

His mother allegedly told police on Dec. 15 that she had no knowledge of the crash. She also allegedly said that she had sold the SUV to a Somalian, Mexican, brown skin days before the crash.

Hegner Royce and his mother were initially arrested in the case last December, but were released as the police continued their investigation.

Chao Xiong 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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