NewsLocal NewsHamilton CountyCincinnati


Judge sentences Briana Benson to 18 years to life for dragging death of Madie Hart

Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 08, 2018

CINCINNATI -- A judge on Thursday sentenced Briana Benson to 18 years to life in prison for the dragging death of 18-year-old Saint Ursula Academy alumnus Madie Hart last year. 

A jury found Benson, 20, guilty on Feb. 14 of one count of murder, one count of felonious assault, one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. 

"I am so sorry to the family," Benson said in court Thursday. "It was an accident, at the end of the day. And that night, I wish none of that ever happened, and I really did not do it on purpose."

Benson plans to appeal her sentence.

Prosecutors said Benson hit Hart with her car and dragged her about a block down Walnut Street on March 26, 2017. The incident was related to a dispute between Benson's sister and Hart's friend. Video from that night shows a brawl in the street before Benson hit Hart. 

Hart died after four days in a coma.

Her family members spoke before the sentencing.

"Now every holiday will be different," Steve Hart, Madie's father, said. "We didn't lose somebody to disease, to cancer. We lost somebody to an accident my wife said should've never happened. It should have never happened."

Jeannine Hart, Maddie's mother, said "this whole entire thing really just makes me physically ill."

"I have this hole in my heart that is going to be there for the rest of my life, and for what? Because of a perceived insult, a slight, that had to come to fighting? I mean, the fight was so disgusting to me," she said.

Benson's mother, Aimee Labostrie, also spoke before the sentencing. She said she believes her daughter is innocent.

"I just want to say, 'I'm sorry,' but it's not over," she said. "It's not over."