Lawyer: Raquel Nelson Trial Pointless
But the prosecution tells the Court of Appeals that the Marietta mom, not a hit-and-run driver, deserves the blame for her son's jaywalking death in 2010.
Prosecutors passed on the chance to speak in court today about why Marietta mom Raquel Nelson should be retried for vehicular homicide, but they made their case clear in a court filing, according to The Associated Press:
Nelson, not hit-and-run driver Jerry Guy, was responsible for the death of her 4-year-old son, A.J. Newman, two years ago.
"The officers determined that A.J. was killed because his mother walked with him into the roadway under unsafe conditions," reads the 29-page brief from the Cobb County Solicitor General’s Office to the Georgia Court of Appeals, according to the AP report. "Another driver could have just as easily been the one that hit A.J. In fact, there is evidence that another driver did almost hit the group after the collision."
But Nelson’s attorney, Steve Sadow, argued before the Court of Appeals that Cobb County has no evidence to try his client in her son’s accidental jaywalking death, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He said further prosecution would be pointless.
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Guy pleaded guilty and served six months in jail in 2010 after fatally striking A.J. on Austell Road south of Marietta, but prosecutors said he was charged only because he fled the scene, according to the AP report, carried by The Huffington Post.
Nelson was crossing the darkened five-lane road with A.J. and her two daughters a third of a mile from the nearest crosswalk to get to their apartment complex from a Cobb Community Transit bus stop April 10, 2010. A.J. pulled away from her in the middle of the road.
She was convicted in July of second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless conduct and crossing a roadway outside a crosswalk, all misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail each. The remote possibility that she could serve six times as long in jail as the driver sparked local, national and international outrage.
Cobb State Court Judge Kathryn Tanksley sentenced Nelson to a year’s probation, then gave her the option to have a retrial. Nelson took the retrial but has since sought a dismissal of the charges with attorney Sadow, who took the case after her sentencing.
Nelson watched Monday’s hearing from the back of the courtroom.
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