This article has been updated with charging information from the Hennepin County (Minn.) Attorney’s Office.
Officials in Minneapolis have charged a man with manslaughter in the August 23, 2019, death of a Medtronic research scientist.
Hennepin County officials said they have charged Erik Kravchuk, 28, of Golden Valley, Minn. with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Aleksandre Sambelashvili, 42.
Sambelashvili was found unconscious on the floor of a Minneapolis bar in the early morning of July 28, 2019, and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died of a traumatic brain injury on August 23, 2019, according to Minneapolis police. Kravchuk and Sambelashvili were attending an organized ethnic event at the bar when Kravchuk allegedly approached Sambelashvili and head-butted him, according to a complaint filed by Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Sambelashvili fell backward to the floor and hit his head, the complaint said.
Police said they arrested Kravchuk yesterday based on credit card information and video taken at the bar. Kravchuk allegedly told police that he did not know Sambelashvili and “refused to acknowledge that it was him on video ‘head butting’ him,” the complaint said.
Sambelashvili was a native of the Republic of Georgia and a research scientist at Medtronic, according to his obituary and an article in the StarTribune of Minneapolis. He earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
At Medtronic, he worked on the AdaptivCRT algorithm, which is designed to personalize cardiac resynchronization therapy and adjust how implanted CRT devices pace the heart according to evaluations of the patient’s heart rhythm.
Sambelashvili also authored 17 peer-reviewed publications and filed more than 25 patents, according to his obituary. Sambelashvili also was an accomplished accordionist who played at festivals and nursing homes. He loved sports, including swimming and fishing, the obituary said.
“Alex Sambelashvili was a kind and thoughtful colleague, and an extraordinarily talented scientist who worked at Medtronic for the past 15 years,” the company said in an email to MassDevice. “Because of Alex’s work, many patients with cardiac problems have been restored to better health and lived longer lives. We are providing support to Alex’s family, and we send them our deepest sympathies.”
Sambelashvili is survived by his mother, Nadezhda, his wife, Jana, and children Viktoria (7) and Nikolas (4). He is preceded in death by his father, Tamaz.
A video of Sambelashvili presenting the results of a 2014 AdaptivCRT clinical trial can be found here.