Murder trial begins for driver accused of intentionally hitting a girl downtown
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A jury braved the icy winter conditions to view the scene of a homicide before the trial of Briana Benson began on February 7.
Benson is charged with murder and vehicular homicide for the death of Madie Hart on March 26, 2017.
A girl fight downtown, with hair pulling punching and scratching, is some of the video a jury saw in the murder trial of Brianna Benson on Wednesday.
The prosecutor says after the fight, Benson intentionally ran over Maddie Hart, dragging her 88 feet.
Prosecutors say that social media melodrama caught the events that led to Maddie Hart’s death.
Cellphone video captured the street fight last March on Walnut in front of the Aronoff. Maddie Hart was clubbing with friends.
Caught on video, she's getting punched out by Brianna Benson. Benson is now on trial for Maddie's murder.
Friend Anna Castano was with Maddie that night. She described finding her in the street after she was hit.
"I see Maddie lying there, eyes open… there was a lot of blood,” said Anna.
Police say the conflict that led up to the St. Ursala grad's death was not between Maddie and Brianna but between Brianna's sister Myah and Anna, who dumped her as a friend and started hanging out with Maddie.
Myah texted, Instagrammed, and Snapchatted threats in the weeks before the hit-skip.
"If I see you in public, I'm going to drag your ass all over Cincinnati. Hear me?” read one of the threats,
It got so bad, that Anna got a restraining order against Myah, but the night Maddie died, there was a facetime call for a fight that they were all in.
Regardless, the trial isn't about broken friendships or social media, it's about murder.
"This was a deliberate act. She was mad at Maddie and this wasn't even her fight,” said Assistant Prosecutor Ann Flanagan.
"This is a case of an accident. Nothing more,” said Defense Attorney Eric Buchakjian.
There is a security video that the prosecution says shows Brianna Benson swerved her car to intentionally hit Maddie. Benson told police that she didn’t stop because she didn't know she hit anyone. The jury will have the final say.
Benson is charged with murder, felonious assault, aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to stop.
Testimony continues Thursday.