Driver accused of killing Madie Hart told police she had 'panic attack'

Posted at 6:45 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 19:04:18-05

CINCINNATI -- When a driver hit Madie Hart with her car, was it intentional or an accident caused by her fear?

That question is facing jurors after the fourth day of Briana Benson's trial. Benson is accused of killing Hart by running her over on Walnut Street and dragging her about a block last March. 

Benson went to police early the morning after Hart was hit, urged on by her friend and passenger. That friend, Jasmine Slone, testified Monday. Jurors also got to watch Benson's police interview.

"I was stuck at a red light and -- you're going to see it on camera -- she ran up to my car and started hitting my car," Benson told police.

"She was moving so fast, it was crazy," Benson continued after police brought her into an interview room. "She was banging on the doors and I saw something black, so I had a panic attack."

Videos from the scene show Hart banging on Benson's car. Then they show the car hitting Hart and dragging her. Slone said she told Benson to stop, thinking she had hit Hart. It felt like Benson had accidentally put the car in neutral while she was driving, Slone said. 

Slone also said someone was chasing them. 

The trial will continue Tuesday, when the defense begins calling its witnesses to the stand.