In an effort to eliminate the murder charge filed against his client, a defense attorney argued Tuesday morning that Philadelphia Police Officer Marc Brady was killed in a “scenario of chicken.”
Entering Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Kareem Alleyne, of East Germantown, faced charges of involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle in connection to a fatal crash in which Alleyne allegedly struck Brady with his car while the off-duty officer was riding his bike.
Alleyne, 35, was dating Brady’s ex-girlfriend at the time, according to police.
Victim shares blame?
Scott Sigman, who is representing Alleyne, asked that the homicide by vehicle charge be dropped from the case. He noted that the collision, while tragic, was an accident and that “both parties could have avoided it.”
Before sending the case to trial, Municipal Court Judge David Shuter denied that request, saying the matter merited further exploration.
On July 15, Brady, 32, was struck by a white 2000 Acura just after 11:30 p.m. in East Mount Airy as he rode toward his ex-girlfriend’s home, according to police.
Brady, who sustained severe head trauma, was pronounced dead at Albert Einstein Medical Center about 30 minutes later.
The cause of death, according to an autopsy report completed later that day, was “indeterminable,” meaning the incident was not immediately ruled a homicide.
In a statement submitted to the court, but not read aloud, Alleyne reportedly told investigators that he saw someone riding a bike towards his car prior to the crash.
Officer William Lackman with the police department’s Accident Investigation Division testified on Tuesday that Alleyne “absolutely” had time to avoid Brady.
Lackman, whose job it is to piece together the details of an incident based on evidence left at the scene, estimated that Alleyne was traveling southbound on Musgrave at approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone.
“Definitely no more than 20 [m.p.h.],” he said, noting that Alleyne had about 65 feet in front of him at the time he told detectives he saw a biker riding towards his car.
Alleyne, though, did not attempt to stop before the collision with Brady, according to Lackman.
On impact, Brady, who was riding a Pacific mountain bike at the time, hit the front bumper of the passenger side of Alleyne’s car before slamming into the front edge of the hood.
“The car didn’t stop. It didn’t slow. It rode over his body,” said Lackman, the only witness to testify Tuesday.
Alleyne then allegedly accelerated before pulling over and waiting for police to arrive at the scene. Lackman equated Alleyne’s response to a “panic reaction.”
Responding police did not issue Alleyne any type of citation. He was arrested on July 16.
At a Roundhouse press conference attended by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, investigators noted that Brady and Alleyne had “bad blood between them,” but said that the fatal incident resulted from a “chance encounter.”
Following the hearing, members of Brady’s family, many of whom allege that Alleyne intentionally hit Brady, were pleased with Shuter’s ruling.
“I’m happy that [the murder charge] did stick and I’m just waiting on the evidence to be produced to proceed further and seek justice for my brother,” Brady’s sister Betty said.
Brady is one of three off-duty Philadelphia police officers to be killed this year.
A little more than a week before Brady’s death, highway patrol Officer Brian Lorenzo died after he was struck by another driver, who was allegedly drunk at the time, on I-95 on his way home.
Officer Moses Walker Jr. was gunned down in North Philadelphia in mid-August following a shift at the 22nd District.
Alleyne, who posted 10 percent of the $150,000 bail, will be arraigned on Oct. 23.