Father waives hearing on drunken driving charges in daughter's death

| Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, 12:57 p.m.

A Wilkinsburg man whose sport utility vehicle rolled backward and hit and killed his daughter waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday on charges of drunken driving and endangering a child.

Pittsburgh police in February charged Richard Benton, 54, with driving under the influence of alcohol. He slurred his speech and smelled of alcohol at the scene of the crash on Schenley Manor Drive in East Liberty, police said.

Police said Shamera Harris, 12, died when Benton's Ford Explorer rolled backward and dragged her into a tree. The girl's mother told police Benton was “messing around with the gear shifter” just before Harris stepped out of the car.

Prosecutors added two counts of endangering the welfare of a child at the hearing in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

Benton has a formal arraignment scheduled for Sept. 25.

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