Driver charged in fatal crash

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published February 17, 2023

 Demetrius Benson

Demetrius Benson


WARREN — Macomb County prosecutors have charged a Lincoln Park man with five felonies, four involving a motor vehicle and one for possession of a controlled substance, after an alleged drunk driving accident on Jan. 21, which resulted in a man’s death.

Demetrius Benson, 35, could face more than 40 years in prison.  He appeared by video for arraignment in 37th District Court on Jan. 23 before Judge Michael Chupa and was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and driving while license suspended causing death, both charges 15-year felonies; attempted carjacking, a five-year felony; operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated — third offense, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison; and possession of a controlled substance, a four-year felony. Chupa set bond at $500,000 cash or surety and ordered Benson to wear a GPS tether and refrain from alcohol and drugs if released on bail.

According to the Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido, Benson was allegedly driving westbound on Eight Mile Road when he ran a red light, hitting a car driving south on Groesbeck Highway. The man whose vehicle was hit, Tony Edward Little, 62, of Detroit, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

After the collision, Benson fled on foot and allegedly tried to carjack an individual driving a van. During the alleged carjacking attempt, Benson was dragged and run over by the van.

“Benson sustained multiple injuries and was hospitalized 11 days, starting from Jan. 21, the day of the incident, to Feb. 1, when he was picked up and taken to the Macomb County Jail,” said his attorney, Shawn Coppins. “I suspect he will be in the infirmary and not with the general population.”

According to Coppins, the picture initially shown in the media of Benson was taken from his driver’s license where he was seen smiling. He said people had remarked that Benson doesn’t appear to be taking this seriously and pointed out that the photo used was not a booking photo.

Lucido stated in a press release that Benson was out on bond from Wayne County for a third-offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated charge.

The probable cause conference for Benson set for Jan. 31 was rescheduled to Feb. 21.  According to Coppins, it was rescheduled because Benson was hospitalized under 24-hour police guard and because he did not have an opportunity to properly discuss the facts of the case with his client.