Man accused of driving drunk, killing BSO deputy appears in court

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida man arrested in connection to the death of a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy in Deerfield Beach has made an appearance in court.

Prosecutors said Darran Johnson, 32, was under the influence when he crashed, killing BSO Deputy Benjamin Nimtz on July 21.

A little more than a month after Nimtz’s funeral, the accused drunk driver appeared in court and asked the judge to grant him bond.

“Your honor, I have family ties. I have community ties. I’m a father. I’m a son,” Johnson said in court.

The 32-year-old faces homicide and DUI manslaughter charges in the deputy’s death.

He was taken into custody three weeks after the crash, and since then, Johnson has remained behind bars.

Michael Weinstein, his defense attorney, tried to convince a judge that his client’s blood alcohol content test is unreliable.

“The last drink was at 1:59, an hour later, so we don’t know at the time of driving what his actual BAC was,” Weinstein said.

The prosecution, however, showed surveillance video of Johnson at a restaurant bar the night of the crash and a social media post a day before that apparently showed him traveling speeds up to 112 mph.

“Based upon the numerous witness statements and the video surveillance, the blood-alcohol test, the EDR reports, the video surveillance that the court reviewed, the state believes there is a substantial probability that he committed the crime,” a prosecutor said.

A judge is expected to make a decision within the next week whether or not Johnson will be granted bond.

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