Was the killing of Madie Hart unintentional? Suspect says yes and pleads “not guilty”

Was the killing of Madie Hart unintentional? Suspect says yes and pleads “not guilty” (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says the fight on Walnut Street was over nothing. Certainly nothing worth dying or killing for.

Briana Benson now faces life in prison for hitting and killing Madie Hart with her car. She was in court for her first appearance on Thursday.


Briana Benson’s mother said she would be at every court hearing for her 20-year-old daughter. This was Briana Benson’s first one since her indictment for murder.

Some of the evidence the grand jury saw included Briana and her friends in the car on Walnut Street.

Reportedly they had taken purses and cellphones from Madie Hart and her friends.

18-year-old Madie stepped out to bash on Briana's car, then, as the video shows, Briana’s car swerves to the right, striking Madie and dragging her to her death.


"My client denies this was an intentional act,” said Briana’s attorney

In the video arraignment, Briana Benson’s attorney entered a not guilty plea then asked for a reasonable bond.

"On the evening it happened, she cooperated, turned herself in, not something trying to get away from,” said Briana’s attorney.


The judge set bond at $1 million. Briana's grandmother said it was a terrible accident. She's visited Briana in jail.

"I told her I loved her and I would be there for her, I told her to keep strong, we're going to make this work God will take care of her and our family,” said Nancy Dittelberger, Briana’s grandmother.


Dittelberger said the trouble started when Madie and her friends pulled Briana's sister out of a car and started beating her up.

Prosecutor Joe Deters said the murder charge is only about what Briana did with her car.

"Backed up, went forward, accelerated, turned into her… you can see Madie trying to keep her balance, is thrown onto pavement and dragged,” said Prosecutor Deters.

Deters says the video shows hitting Madie was intentional, but Briana's attorney says it was all unintentional. A jury will decide what they think.

There are two other videos that the jury will see, including one recorded by an Uber driver who was right behind Benson.

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