A mother whose child was hit and killed near South Cobb by a driver who had been drinking alcohol may serve more time than the driver, according to various reports from news outlets.
In April 2010, Raquel Nelson, a now-30-year-old Marietta woman, was attempting to cross an intersection of Austell Road with her three young children when her 4-year-old son was struck by a hit-and-run driver, according to news reports. The boy, A.J., died later as a result of his injuries.
Nelson’s 9-year-old daughter was unharmed, while Nelson and her 2-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries.
According to the Daily Mail, residents of the family’s apartments have complained of the dangerous intersection for quite some time.
The child was killed at an intersection of a four-lane road, separated by a thin concrete strip. The intersection has a Walk Score of 25, meaning the area has a “few amenities within walking distance.” Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address, and scores of 24 and below show that the area is one where “almost all errands require a car.” The nearest crosswalk is half a mile away.
At her July 26 hearing, Nelson could be sentenced to up to 36 months, said her attorney, David Savoy.
On Tuesday, Nelson was convicted of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Reports state that Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting and killing the child, has served six months of his five-year sentence. He was released on Oct. 29, 2010. He will spend the remainder of his sentence on probation.
Guy was originally charged with hit and run, first-degree homicide by vehicle and cruelty to children. Charges were later dropped to just the hit and run charge.
According to court records, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, Guy was also previously convicted of two other hit-and-runs committed on the same day in February 1997. Guy received a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty but was out in less than a year, the Department of Corrections website shows.
According to Guy’s attorney, David Simpson, Guy has stated that he consumed “a little” alcohol earlier that day, that he had been prescribed pain medication and that he was partially blind in his left eye.