Suspect blamed 'demonic control' for Belle Isle hit and run that killed girl, 12

The 23-year-old driver that police say ran down and fatally killed a 12-year-old girl and critically injured her 16-year-old sister on the Belle Isle beach on Memorial Day faced a judge Friday.

Prosecutors say Alexander Armond Smith admitted to police of being under demonic control or having demonic thoughts when he allegedly hit and killed 12-year-old Ghadir Saleh who was walking with her sister who was also hit.

Smith's driving record was also revealed to be about a dozen pages long and shows his license was restricted at the time of the incident.

"Being even under like, 'Demonic control' and that was the word he was using, and having demonic thoughts at this time," the prosecutor said. "Those are very disturbing facts that point to someone who is a danger to the community."

Police say Smith was driving on Belle Isle when he veered onto the beach area and barreled into the girls. Afterward, he drove away from the crash scene but police arrested him a short time later.  

Smith was arraigned Friday with open murder, leaving the scene of an accident causing death, reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function and leaving the scene of an accident.

"May I explain myself please," Smith said during the hearing.

Gadir Saleh, 12, was killed Monday when a driver hopped the curb on Belle Isle Beach and hit her.

He spoke several times during the court proceedings and was remanded to jail, which means he received no bond.

The judge sided with the prosecutor on the possible danger to the public.

"While I understand from the investigator's report that the mother has said there have not been mental health issues, and counselor I understand there have not been diagnosed mental health issues, (but) this investigator's report raises a lot of concern," the judge said.

Secretary of State records show Smith has an operating while intoxicated conviction from March of this year.

More: Suspect charged with running over, killing 12-year-old girl on Belle Isle Beach on Memorial Day

The extensive driving record also shows his license was restricted at the time of the crash, stipulating that he was required to only drive to certain places like work, home, treatment or support groups.

Prosecutors also allege Smith admitted to having a bottle and a quarter of wine when the incident occurred.  

Saleh and her family had just immigrated from war-torn Yemen a few months ago and made their very first trip to Belle Isle Beach on Memorial Day when they were hit. 

Both girls were rushed to the hospital and Saleh later died. Her older sister had been stabilized but on Thursday, police said her condition worsened and she was downgraded to critical.

"We think he is absolutely a danger to the community," the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney Brandon Kizy said Smith lives with his mom, is working and has the support of his father and family.

"The public is protected, he’s not an active menace to society your honor," Kizy said. "And also he is not a very dangerous person, he doesn’t have an assaultive nature or anything like that."

The judge didn’t buy that argument. Smith must stay in jail until his next court date, June 14th. He’s scheduled for a probable cause conference.  And a preliminary exam is scheduled for June 21st.

Belle Isle beach fatal hit and run suspect Alexander Armond Smith

Belle Isle beach fatal hit and run suspect Alexander Armond Smith