Obrian Ricardo Oakley and Sadik Rashad Baxter of Miami, Florida were arrested Sunday following a fatal accident that occurred at the intersection of Palm Avenue and Sheridan Street in Pembroke Pines. Both men were booked into the Broward County jail. Oakley, 26, is facing multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of burglary, petit theft, and causing a crash involving death or personal injury. Baxter, 25, is charged with burglary, larceny, petit theft, and a parole violation. Both men were denied bail bond. It is unclear whether either of the defendants has retained private criminal defense lawyer.
According to a press release, both Oakley and Baxter had spent the previous night gambling at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. When the left the following morning, the two men allegedly decided to hit the streets and steal what they could from parked cars. In a report by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Baxter purportedly told investigators that he needed money to buy medicine for his sister. The report claims that the two men began their stealing spree in a Rock Creek neighborhood of Cooper City. They allegedly traveled from car to car, collecting whatever they could find. Their acquisitions included a drum set, an iPod, and around $2 in change, according to news reports.
Meanwhile, the victims in the accident, Christopher McConnell, 61, of Cooper City, and Dean Amelkin, 60, or Coral Springs, were heading out on a bike ride with two other friends at the time, sources say. Reports state the group was planning to travel down a well-known route. McConnell, who reports say owned a lucrative air conditioning business, left behind a wife and three adult children. Amelkin owned a printing business and he and his wife also had children.
Oakley and Baxter allegedly continued to search through vehicles until the owner of one of the targeted vehicles spotted them and began to photographing them, reports say. The owner reportedly spotted the duo walking up to and searching his SUV, at which point he called police and began recording them with his cell phone. According to a police report, Baxter approached the witness, but when Baxter went to retreat to the getaway car, a silver Infiniti, it was gone. Oakley had taken the car and sped away, leaving behind his partner, according to the press.
At some point, police caught up to the silver Infiniti and a high-speed chase ensued. Oakley would later tell police that he was driving in excess of 110 MPH. The accident occurred when Oakley glanced back at his followers. His car collided with a red Toyota that was headed westbound on Sheridan Street where it crosses Palm Avenue.
Following the collision, Oakley’s vehicle spun out of control and ran into the two cyclists, McConnell and Amelkin. Once the car came to a stop, Oakley reportedly fled on foot. Rescue teams pronounced McConnell and Amelkin dead at the scene.
Police shut down the intersection of Palm Avenue and Sheridan Street in Pembroke Pines following the accident while K-9 units and air patrol searched for Oakley. After hiding for a short while, Oakley walked out onto the street and gave himself up peacefully. The arrest occurred around 11:50 A.M.
Reports indicate that members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office have launched an investigation into the high-speed chase. Apparently, deputies are allowed to pursue violent felony suspects, but not when the risk of harm from evasion is outweighed by a greater harm to the public as a result from the pursuit. Whether this means that the victim’s families could pursue charges remains to be seen.