MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Miami-Dade prosecutors working on the pending case of two college students’ deaths have a surveillance video that detectives said helped them to identify the driver in the hit-and-run crash in Miami Gardens.
The video shows when the driver of an Infiniti struck two 19-year-old first-year Florida Memorial University students, who were walking on a Sunday night in February, along Northwest 42 Avenue.
Witnesses reported the driver got out of the car and said, “What just hit me?”
A police dog was able to track the driver just a few blocks away from the crash after he stripped off his clothing, trespassed naked, and a witness opened fire and shot him in the stomach, police said. Detectives identified the driver as Jerome Harrell, who was at the Metrowest Detention Center on Wednesday evening.
For the death of Asiayanna Green and Sha’Raiyah Story, prosecutors filed the felony case with six charges against Harrell, 35, on Feb. 15, a few days after his initial arrest. He already had a Miami-Dade County record of more than 45 traffic citations and a list of arrests that went back to 2005.
Police officers arrested him in 2007 on a weapons charge and a counterfeit plate, in 2011 for burglary and grand theft, in 2013 for domestic violence, in 2014 for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, and in 2015 for driving without a driver’s license, county records show.
Despite his record, Harrell is not a convicted felon, most of the cases were dropped, and only one judge decided to order him to see a probation officer, state and county records show.
Miami-Dade County corrections officers have been holding Harrell without bond since March 15, and a judge granted pre-trial detention on March 17, records show. His defense demanded a trial by jury on March 16 and April 12 when he pleaded not guilty, court records show.
Harrell is facing two counts of leaving the scene of a crash involving death, two counts of DUI manslaughter with failure to render aid, and two counts of vehicular homicide with failure to stop. His next pre-trial hearings are at 9:15 a.m., on July 5 and July 24.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michelle A. Delancy is presiding over the case.