When police caught him amidst a petty crime spree in a casino parking lot yesterday, Obrian Oakley decided to run. As he peeled away from deputies in his Infiniti, what would have been a couple misdemeanor theft charges turned into two counts of first-degree murder against the 26-year-old from Miami when Oakley screamed through an intersection and instantly killed two cyclists out for a Sunday morning ride.
The accident is the latest tragedy for South Florida cyclists, who nearly lost yet another rider on the Rickenbacker Causeway last Tuesday. (The rider in that accident is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital; police declined to charge the driver who hit him, saying the accident appeared to be the cyclist's fault.)
Killed on Sunday were Dean Amelkin, a 60-year-old from Coral Springs, and Christopher McConnell, a 61-year-old from Cooper City.
The pair were riding with a larger group through South Broward, and were passing through a green light on Sheridan Street when Oakley's Infiniti blazed through the intersection, killing both men before hitting another car.
Oakley's day didn't begin with murderous intentions, police say. Oakley and an accomplice, 25-year-old Sadik Baxter, spent Saturday night at the Hard Rock Casino before deciding to burglarize some cars in the casino's parking lot early on Sunday morning.
A neighbor saw them ripping off the cars, though, and alerted police; when they showed up, they arrested Baxter but Oakley fled the scene.
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Moments later, police say, he killed Amelkin and McConnell. Oakley jumped out of his car after the wreck and ran away on foot, but was spotted a few hours later by a BSO helicopter and arrested.
Oakley had only a minor record in Miami-Dade before Sunday's crash, according to court records. He was charged in 2005 and 2008 with marijuana possession, but a judge withheld adjudication on those counts; in 2008 he faced a felony count of illegally possessing a firearm, but those charges were dropped.
He now faces two first-degree murder counts.