DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Prosecutors in Dania Beach hope to use newly released audio of a man accused in a deadly hit-and-run against him in court.
In the recording, Zachary Benjamins, 22, admits to detectives that he was drinking the night he is accused of striking Apollo Brown, 8, and his brother, Kelv-Ron Florence, 14. Brown did not survive, and Florence just recently was released from a hospital following the December crash.
According to the audio and detectives' reports, Benjamins was drinking with his girlfriend, Anaee Barbieto, Dec. 8 at a Hooters restaurant at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.
"We drank for a little bit," Benjamins said in the recording. "I only had maybe two-and-a-half beers. I don't know for sure."
From there they drove to Dania Beach, where the boys were struck by the Toyota Tacoma while walking home from a basketball game.
Deputies said the boys were struck from behind, and the truck kept going.
Photos in evidence document the damage, and it was a repair shop owner who made the connection.
Deputies said Benjamins had taken the truck to a repair shop and told the owner he and his girlfriend had been victims of a hit-and-run crash. But the shop owner recognized the description of the vehicle from the news and called detectives, who made the match.
Benjamins has since been released from jail on $150,000 bond and was ordered to wear an ankle monitoring device.
Meanwhile, Apollo Brown Sr. questioned the judge's decision to release Benjamins.
"You ran because you hit the kids," he said. "Who's to say you're not going to run now?"
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