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UPDATED: Pedestrian Convicted of Vehicular Homicide of Son

The woman, whose 4-year-old son was hit and killed when they tried crossing Austell Road, will learn her fate at a sentencing hearing on July 26.

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.

The AJC reports, “The first hit-and-run also happened on Austell Road, but when Guy fled from that scene he hit another car, seriously injuring that driver and passenger, records show.”

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.

Hazel July 20, 2011 at 03:39 PM
This is an outrage and just one more example of the rampant misogyny that runs so deep in our country. Want another example: http://tinyurl.com/44dlg3s
Nearby July 21, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Is there any defense fund or assistance being mounted for her?
Kiri Walton (Editor) July 21, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Hey Patricia, I have had a few people ask me this, and I've contacted Ms. Nelson's lawyer to get any information about this. As soon as he gets back with me, I'll provide the info here.
Susan July 22, 2011 at 01:39 AM
I spoke with her aunt this evening. There will be a press conference at 11:00 tomorrow morning (July 22) at Glover Park at the Marietta Square (68 East Park Square, Marietta), where they will discuss the case, and how to make donations to a legal defense fund. I also spoke with her attorney, and what would also be really helpful is as many letters, calls and emails as possible to the judge asking for leniency, and to fill the courtroom with supporters. I do not know who the judge is at this time, so I would address it to the Clerk of Courts, Cobb Superior Court. Finally, her aunt gave me the link to a petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/669/545/347/#confirm
Kiri Walton (Editor) July 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Wow, thanks Susan!
Susan July 22, 2011 at 05:08 PM
As an update, the judge is The Honorable Katheryn Tanksley, State Court of Cobb County, 12 East Park Square, Marietta, GA 30090-0115. In the interest of getting a letter there on time, you can send it to her via email to her assistant, ericka.kemp@cobbcounty.org. The hearing is Tuesday morning at 10. Still need as many Cobb County citizens as possible to write letters, and still need as many people as possible to attend. I don't speak for the family, but I know they appreciate any efforts on their behalf. Susan (justlikeaslattery.wordpress.com for more information as I have it)

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