Man found guilty of causing crash that killed couple while he was high on marijuana

Gerard Baldie fled scene after April 29, 2016 crash in Broward County

A Broward County jury found a man guilty six years after the crash that killed a couple in Broward County. He blamed the fatal hit-and-run crash on laced marijuana.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A jury on Thursday found Gerard Baldie guilty of all charges related to a hit-and-run crash in 2016 that left a couple dead.

The jury reached their decision after just two hours of deliberating.

During trial testimony, Baldie, 33, blamed the alleged laced weed he had smoked on April 29, 2016, for causing him to speed and crash into the back of Steven Olivert’s green 1996 Nissan near the intersection of East Oakland Park Boulevard and North Federal Highway.

“I just remember driving and then the next thing I know, there is like something hitting my face, and I don’t know, I just remember something warm hitting. It just feels like I was being smashed into something,” Baldie said.

Experts reported Baldie was driving a black 2016 Kia at more than 90 mph when he crashed.

“Baldie slammed into the back of their vehicle that was stopped for a red light doing 94 mph in a 35 mph zone,” Prosecutor Gina Messina said during her closing statement.

Baldie admitted to getting out of his car and running away.

Danielle Baldwin and Steven Olivert were killed in a hit-and-run crash in Fort Lauderdale.

“I didn’t know I was in an accident, so I was just trying to go home,” Baldie told a prosecutor.

Witnesses reported Baldie walked into a store shaking, took off his clothes, walked out naked, and walked into other businesses before officers detained him.

Olivert, 35, died on the night of the crash. Danielle Baldwin, 32, died on May 1, 2016.

“I’m grateful we got justice,” Olivert’s aunt said on Thursday.

“You can’t fight the truth, and that’s why they came back with a verdict of guilty,” Baldwin’s aunt, Linda Dudley said.

After receiving treatment at Imperial Point Medical Center, Baldie walked out free and he didn’t surrender to authorities until April 5, 2018.

Baldie’s attorney, Michael Edward Dutko, said the tainted marijuana was to blame, and not Baldie.

“No alcohol detected in his system,” Dutko said in court, adding that Baldie did admit he “took a hit from a bong,” he thought it was “laced” and “there must have been something in it.”

Baldie testified on Tuesday that he was an avid marijuana smoker and the tainted weed that he smoked out of a bong that night made him paranoid.

Baldie was ultimately convicted of vehicular manslaughter, DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

A South Florida man has been convicted on all charges related to a fatal hit-and-run crash in Broward County.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.