BROWARD -Two Miami-Dade men were indicted for first-degree murder on Thursday by a Broward grand jury after one of the men allegedly ran over and killed two bicyclists in an attempt to evade the police in the early morning hours of August 5. The Miami, Florida car accident lawyers at our firm have handled many automobile accident cases. Our team of Miami, Fl wrongful death lawyers, private investigators and accident reconstruction experts work together to maximize the amount of compensation the victims family receives.
The bicyclists that were killed after allegedly being hit by Obrian Ricardo Oakley, 26, and Sadik Rashad Baxter, 25, were 61-year-old Christopher McConnell and 60-year-old Dean Amelkin. Oakley and Baxter now each face two first-degree murder charges for those deaths.
The men also each face five counts of burglary and Oakley faces additional charges for vehicular homicide and aggravated fleeing from police.
Early August 5 Oakley and Baxter were spotted by residents in the Rock Creek neighborhood of Cooper City burglarizing vehicles. The residents called the police, who quickly arrived on scene and were able to arrest Baxter. However, Oakley fled the scene and led the police on a high-speed chase. At the intersection of Palm Avenue and Sheridan Street, Oakley hit another vehicle, causing his own to spin out of control. As Oakley’s vehicle spun across the road, McConnell and Amelkin were struck and killed as a result of “multiple blunt force trauma.”
Originally, Oakley was the only one facing the murder charges. However, the State Attorney’s Office later charged Baxter as a principal to first-degree murder because, under Florida law, according to a State Attorney’s Office representative, “It’s not the intent to commit the homicide that controls the filing of the charge, . . . but rather the intent to commit the underlying felony [of burglary].”
A major problem that prosecutors will face in this case is whether the Broward Sheriff’s Office actually engaged in a high-speed chase with Oakley. If so, that office too may face a suit brought by the families of the deceased, as Broward Sheriff’s Office policies do not permit police chases except in the case of a violent felony.
No matter what decision is made over the high-speed chase issue, two families will continue to suffer from the tragic loss of their loved ones.
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