Jerome Brooks, 47, of New York, borrowed his girlfriend’s 2004 Chevy Trailblazer just over a year ago to visit family in Philly and settle his mother’s estate.
But he also went on a two-day cocaine binge that ended with him driving 77 miles per hour eastbound on Chester Avenue around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2012 where he struck and killed Deanna Teal, 52, who was crossing at 49th Street, and kept driving.
Teal was thrown 120 feet through the air, then skidded on the pavement for 80 feet, according to a police accident investigation officer who testified Wednesday.
Brooks later told detectives that he had gone to Kensington to buy more cocaine, then went to a bar at 46th and Baltimore to get several shots, then drove away.
He told detectives he knew he needed sleep but kept driving.
he began speeding after he saw police officers on Chester Avenue look at him. He later told detectives he was “on some fight-or-flight s—” and was driving so fast the lights were a blur, so he was flicking his headlights to warn other drivers and pedestrians.
“In his paranoid mind, he’s running from the cops,” said prosecutor Lorraine Donnelly.
Chester Avenue crests between 49th and 50th Streets at railroad tracks that pass through the road and Brooks and Teal could not see each other until he was so close that she had only 1.6 seconds to react, according to evidence at trial.
After striking Teal and smashing his windshield, Brooks ditched the SUV a few blocks away, got in a cab and fell asleep, so the cabbie called police.
Brooks was arrested a day later at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Philly.
Jurors will begin deliberating murder charges today.