A WOMAN IN the US, who was convicted of vehicular homicide after a drunk driver killed her son as he was crossing the street, has been given a year of probation and offered a new trial to clear her name.
Raquel Nelson was crossing the road with her three children in Marietta, Georgia when she, her son and her daughter were hit by a car. Four-year-old AJ was killed, while Nelson and her daughter suffered minor injuries.
The driver fled the scene but was later sentenced to five years in prison. He was released after six months.
Nelson, who is 30, was convicted of homicide by vehicle in the second degree. She was also convicted of jaywalking – that is, crossing the road where there was no pedestrian crossing, and reckless conduct.
She could have been handed down 36 months in jail, but the judge gave Nelson a probation sentence which includes 40 hours of community service, but he also made the unusual move of offering her a new trial. If she’s found innocent, her record would be cleared.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that fines of $1,000 which could be applied for each count have also been suspended.
Nelson’s attorney David Savoy has said that they will take the judge up on the offer of a new trial.
ABC reports that prosecutors never intended to seek jail time for Nelson. She has said that she’s had little time to grieve properly because of the legal proceedings.
She crossed the road to her apartment after getting off a bus with her three children. The nearest pedestrian crossing was a third of a mile up the street.
- Additional reporting by AP