DETROIT (WWJ) – The man accused of killing an eight-year-old Detroit girl in a hit and run accident appeared in court Wednesday.

Twenty-three-year-old Cortney Shields was in 36th District Court in Detroit for a video arraignment for additional charges which include second degree murder in the hit-and-run death of Kamari Smith.

Police allege that Shields was behind the wheel of a car that hit Smith, she later died of the injuries she sustained in the accident.

WWJ’s Stephanie Davis reports that Shields showed no emotion as he listened to the charges against him.

Attorney Ray Paige, who represents Shields, says second degree murder is an over-charge.

“The prosecutor has charged murder in the second degree – that means intent to kill – I think they’re going to have a heavy burden at trial to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that whoever hit that girl and this child, this precious individual, had intent to kill her.”

“The Shields family has nothing but condolences for this family,” said Paige. “No one wakes up in the morning and has plans to run over an eight year old child. Having said that, we don’t make any admissions, one thing is for certain, that Cortney Shields did not wake up with intent to kill anyone.”

“… He’s presumed to be innocent, and he maintains his innocence – he’s very contrite, he’s saddened by the notion … of having killed an individual is not in his DNA,” said Paige.

Smith suffered severe trauma to her head, spine and internal organs when she was struck May 19 while standing near an ice cream truck on Robeson Street near Fenkell and Greenfield. The vehicle that struck her was traveling around 50 miles per hour. Police say the driver briefly stopped, then fled the scene.

A not-guilty plea was entered on Shields behalf and no bond was set. He’s due back in court next month.

A second man who was in the car with Shields, 18 -year old Leonard Crosby, was arraigned on one charge of being an accessory.


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