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Thread: Mom convicted in son’s jaywalking death: ‘This will never end for me’

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    Default Mom convicted in son’s jaywalking death: ‘This will never end for me’

    Mom convicted in son


    A Marietta, Ga., mom who was convicted of jaywalking after her 4-year-old son was run over and killed in a hit-and-run said on the Today Show that the worst part of going to jail would be the separation from her two remaining kids.

    Raquel Nelson was convicted of homicide by vehicle and reckless conduct by a jury and faces sentencing tomorrow. She can receive up to a three-year jail sentence, six times the stretch that Jerry Guy--who admitted to drinking before running over Nelson's son, A.J.--served.

    "I think to come after me so much harder than they did him is a slap in the face because this will never end for me," she said. "It's three years away from the two that I have left."

    Nelson also said that the jury had "never been in my shoes," because each of them answered that they had never taken public transportation before. Nelson, who doesn't have a car, was three-tenths of a mile away from the nearest crosswalk when her bus dropped her off at the stop across the street from her apartment with her three children. She decided to cross with her kids rather than remain outside any later at night, she said. (You can read more about her case here.)

    "We are just hoping as a family that [the judge] is compassionate and lets my niece remain with her other children," Nelson's aunt Loretta Williams said. Nearly 75,000 have signed an online petition in support of Nelson.

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I saw this interview. This is a crazy situation. I cannot believe they went after her in this case and the potential penalty is great than that drunk who killed her son. I keep thinking there must be more to this story.


    ETA: found this but it still doesn't explain why the DA would chose to go after her this way with 3 charges.

    http://marietta.patch.com/articles/c...will-never-end
    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.

    By Michael Jacobs Email the author8:57am Print&nbps;10 Comments
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    Transportation for America (t4america.org) created this map of the crash scene. Credit t4america.org Photos (1) Photos Credit t4america.org
    Add your photos & videos Tell Your Neighbors About Patch 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.

    “I’ve had to accept that he’s gotten six months,” Raquel Nelson said on this morning’s Today show on NBC. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

    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.”

    http://www.hinterlandgazette.com/201...aces-more.html

    Black GA Woman Raquel Nelson Faces More Jail Time than Jerry Guy, Drunk Driver Who Killed Her Son

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Janet Shan FROM DEMOCRACY NOW:


    A grieving African-American mother in Georgia is facing the potential of more time in prison than the drunk driver who struck and killed her child and then fled the scene. Raquel Nelson lost her four-year-old son while trying to shuttle him across a five-lane highway, along with two of her other children. Jerry Guy — a partially-blind man who has admitted to having consumed alcohol and painkillers beforehand — hit the young boy with his vehicle. The child later died of his injuries. Nelson and her daughter were also struck and suffered injuries. An all-white jury has convicted Nelson of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, jaywalking and reckless conduct. She could serve up to three years in prison. Meanwhile, the drunk driver, Guy — who was previously convicted of two-hit-and-runs in one day in 1997 — was initially charged with hit and run, first degree homicide by a vehicle and cruelty to children. But the charges were later dropped to simply hit and run. Guy served a six-month jail term and will spend the remainder of his five-year sentence on probation.How many people actually get charged for jaywalking in this country? A jury can acquit Casey Anthony of child neglect, but yet another jury can find a woman who has lost her child at the hands of a drunk driver guilty for jaywalking. Amazing.

    UPDATE: Raquel Nelson is asking the judge for leniency during her upcoming sentencing on Tuesday. She said she didn’t think that the jury that convicted her “could relate to what I was going through. All of the jurors stated they’ve never ridden public transportation, and they’ve never really been in my shoes, so I think there was maybe not a jury of peers.” Amen.
    This is a story we covered when the incident first occurred last year and the mainstream media outlets didn't bother to pick it up, except the local media. This was unfair and just plain wrong. They can let a murderer like Casey Anthony go but they want to prosecute this woman to the fullest extent of the law and for what? Jaywalking? Give me a break.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    so the dude was drunk, on painkillers, partially blind, and it was his third hit-and-run conviction, but he's getting less time than she is?

    something is rotten in the state of georgia.
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    Disgusting. That poor mother. She was just trying to live, and this piece of garbage drunk driver should still be behind bars.

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    The thing that jumped out at me is that they have bus stops that are almost half a mile from the nearest available crosswalk - which is why they jaywalked.

    Something is most definitely screwy with justice system in this case. 3rd time drunk hit and run and gets 6 months? Cross the street from bus stop and get 3 years AND lose your child.
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    I don't understand the vehicular homicide charge. What, was she basically charged as a party or something to the hit and run? How the hell could the elements of that crime be satisfied? That is some creative fucking prosecuting or something. Christ, this is pathetic.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    Something is definitely rotten in Denmark. I can't believe they ever went after hte mother in the first place.
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    Not only went after but now she's actually been convicted by a jury of her "peers". Mindblowing.
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    MESSED UP. Wow. Someone needs to help this woman.

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    I don't know why I keep on clicking this thread...It makes my blood boil!
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    Casey Anthony walks and this women gets this??

    This is totally jacked. Can the judge sentence her to nothing?

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    Three hit and run convictions and such a short sentence? Wtf?

    Ugh, this is just a disgusting story.

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    There are petitions going on line to be presented to the judge. I would love to hear the jurors reason for why they found her guilty on all 3 charges and the asshole DA who filed the charges.
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    Mom gets choice in hit-run case: New trial or probation *| ajc.com gets choice in hit-run case: New trial or probationShareThisPrint E-mail .By Mike Morris


    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    A Cobb County mother who was convicted on three charges after her 4-year-old son was killed by a hit-and-run driver has been given a choice by the judge: 12 months' probation or a new trial.

    Enlarge photo Phil Skinner, AJC In this May 2010 photo, Raquel Nelson tends to a shrine for her son A.J. Newman, 4, who was killed April 10, 2010, by a hit-and-run driver near the family's home on Austell road.

    Related
    HuffPost: Grieving mother faces 36 months for jaywalking
    Mother crossing street found guilty in child's death
    Is this fair?
    Driver arrested in hit-and-run
    .More Atlanta area news »
    Mom in hit-run seeks compassion
    Arguing driver hits building
    Hampton will cite saggy pants
    State lets APS board keep jobs
    .Return for updates.

    Previous Story:

    A Cobb County mother who was convicted on three charges after her 4-year-old son was killed by a hit-and-run driver will learn her fate Tuesday in a Cobb County courtroom.

    Raquel Nelson, 30, was convicted earlier this month of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct in the April 10, 2010 incident where she and her three children were trying to cross four-lane Austell Road to their apartment after getting off a Cobb Community Transit bus.

    Nelson’s 4-year-old son was struck by a car and killed. Nelson and her younger daughter suffered minor injuries, and her older daughter was not injured.

    Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting the child when pleading guilty to hit-and-run, served a six-month sentence. He was released in October and will serve the remainder of a five-year sentence on probation.

    Nelson is facing up to three years in prison when she's sentenced in Cobb County court. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. On Monday she discussed her case with Ann Curry, anchor of NBC’s "Today" show.

    That maximum sentence would be "three years away from the two [children] that I have left,” Nelson said.

    Nelson’s aunt, Loretta Williams, said on the show that she and the rest of Nelson’s family hope that the judge “is compassionate and will let my niece remain with her other children.”

    Nelson said she and her children crossed Austell Road outside a crosswalk because the nearest one was .3 mile away, and she was “trying to hurry up and get home so we wouldn’t have to be in the dark.”

    She said that she had accepted that Guy, who had also been convicted of similar charges in 1997, served only six months for striking and killing her son, then fleeing the scene.

    “Even though he has had a history of it, nobody gets up that day and says, ‘I’m going to kill a 4-year-old,’” Nelson said.

    “However, to come after me so much harder than they did him is a slap in the face,” she said.

    She said that she didn’t think that the jury that convicted her “could relate to what I was going through. All of the jurors stated they’ve never ridden public transportation, and they’ve never really been in my shoes, so I think there was maybe not a jury of peers.”

    A petition requesting leniency posted on change.org had garnered more than 116,000 signatures as of 10 p.m. Monday.

    Check back for updates on today's sentencing hearing.
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    MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A woman who was arrested after her 4-year-old son was struck and killed by a van as they were jaywalking across a busy street was spared a prison sentence Tuesday following an outcry over her prosecution.
    Raquel Nelson, 30, was convicted by a jury earlier this month of vehicular homicide and other charges for not using a crosswalk and could have gotten three years behind bars — far more than the six months the hit-and-run driver served.
    Instead, without explanation, Judge Kathryn Tanksley gave the suburban Atlanta mother a year's probation, ordered 40 hours of community service, and took the unusual step of offering her a new trial. Nelson's lawyer said late Tuesday that she will take the judge up on the offer.
    A crowd of supporters broke out in applause.
    "I'm ready to go home," a relieved-looking Nelson said. "I'm walking out of here. I don't feel like I can be more satisfied."
    Prosecutors' extremely rare decision to bring charges against the grieving mother had created a furor, with Nelson's supporters calling the move cruel and heartless.
    More than 125,000 people joined an online petition campaign asking for mercy. The Georgia branch of the NAACP called the case against the single black mother a "grave miscarriage of justice." And the judge said her office had been flooded with letters and emails from around the country.
    The accident happened in April 2010 along a busy five-lane street.
    Nelson and her three children had just gotten off a bus after a long day, and she was eager to return home because it was getting dark, said her lawyer, David Savoy. Instead of walking to a crosswalk three-tenths of a mile away, she led her children to a median. According to testimony, her daughter darted across the street and son A.J. followed and was hit and killed.
    She chased after them and was struck and injured.
    The driver, Jerry Guy, pleaded guilty to hit-and-run. According to court records, he had been drinking earlier in the day while taking pain medication, was partially blind in one eye, and had two previous hit-and-run convictions from 1997.
    As for the decision to charge Nelson, too, "these cases are inherently difficult because they are unintentional," prosecutor Annamarie Baltz explained. "But the state is bound to uphold the law."
    Nevertheless, Baltz asked for probation for Nelson and said prosecutors never intended to send her to prison.
    In an appearance on NBC's "Today" show Monday, Nelson said: "I think to come after me so much harder than they did after him is a slap in the face. This will never end for me."
    Savoy argued that his client has already suffered enough for her mistake. He said prosecutors would never charge a parent who accidentally left open a pool gate if a child drowned, or a parent who fed a hot dog to a youngster who choked on it.
    "Do not make A.J.'s death an act that washes over this family like a tidal wave," he said. "There's no legitimate basis to make this family continue to suffer."
    Inside the courthouse, Nelson's supporters gathered in the halls for a prayer vigil and urged the judge not to punish her any further.
    "Every day she gets up, she pays her debt," said Beverly Ward, who was A.J.'s preschool teacher.
    Advocates seized on the case as evidence that the car-choked Atlanta metropolitan area needs better crosswalks.
    "It's really cruel and a big waste of taxpayer money" to prosecute Nelson, said Sally Flocks, founder of PEDS, an Atlanta pedestrian advocacy group. "What is anybody going to learn from this? Raquel lost her precious son. The lesson she learned already is quit using transit and buy a car to get around. It's too dangerous to cross the streets here."
    The case has been the talk of Georgia legal circles.
    J. Tom Morgan, a former DeKalb County district attorney who specialized in the prosecution of crimes against children, said he was surprised prosecutors targeted Nelson.
    "She wasn't out drinking," he said. "In a case like this where the mother suffered the tragic loss of a child, and there's no gross negligence, I wouldn't have involved the criminal justice system."
    And W. Scott Smith, a defense attorney, said he has never heard of a similar prosecution in his 11 years in practice.
    "It's one of those things that if you're the state, you've got to use common sense. The person is going to live with themselves the rest of their lives," he said.
    Ga. mom is spared prison in son's jaywalking death - Yahoo! News
    If i hear one more personal attack, i will type while drunk, then you can cry! - Bugdoll
    (716): I'd call her a cunt, but she doesn't seem to have the depth or warmth
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