Convicted Mom: 'This Will Never End'
Marietta's Raquel Nelson takes her plea for mercy to the "Today" show a day before her sentencing in her son's death, caused by a hit-and-run driver.
The Marietta mother convicted of vehicular homicide in her 4-year-old son’s jaywalking death says she isn’t focusing on the possibility that she will serve more jail time than the drunken driver who killed her boy.
Under a plea deal, Jerry Guy served six months of a five-year sentence for hit-and-run in the child’s death April 10, 2010. It was his third hit-and-run conviction.
A judge Tuesday could sentence Nelson, 30, to a year behind bars for each of the three misdemeanors a jury convicted her of this month: second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless conduct and crossing a roadway elsewhere than a crosswalk.
A prison term of three years is highly unlikely for misdemeanors, but regardless of the sentence, Nelson said, “this will never end for me.”
She said the worst part of any prison sentence would be the separation from her two daughters.
“I think my other two daughters are the reason I was able to survive the situation,” Nelson said.
Loretta Williams, an aunt of Nelson’s who appeared with her on Today, said she hopes the judge is compassionate enough to let Nelson stay with her surviving children.
The girls were with Nelson when son A.J. darted into Austell Road that April evening and was fatally struck by Guy’s car. Nelson and one of her daughters also were hit and slightly injured.
Nelson and the children were crossing from their bus stop to their apartment complex after a grocery-shopping trip. The nearest crosswalk was a little more than 500 yards away.
Today’s Ann Curry asked why the family crossed in the middle of Austell Road, and Nelson said that even if they had gone to the crosswalk, they would have been forced to cross a dark side street to get home.
Following a common thread in commentary on her plight, Nelson said she didn’t think the middle-class jury that convicted her represented her peers.
“I don’t think they could relate to what I was going through,” she said, because they didn’t use public transit and weren’t single mothers. “They’ve never really been in my shoes.”