Raquel Nelson Sentenced to Year of Probation, Granted Option of New Trial

Raquel Nelson, the Georgia mother who was convicted of vehicular homicide after a motorist killed her 4-year-old son as she crossed the street with him, was given the option of seeking a new trial at her sentencing today, the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting.

Nelson told the Today Show that the jurors who convicted her of vehicular homicide didn't understand what it is like to depend on public transportation. Photo: ##http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/mom-gets-choice-in-1042791.html## Atlanta Journal Constitution##

Nelson was sentenced to two terms of 12 months probation, to be served concurrently, as well as community service. But Cobb County Judge Katherine Tanksley said the 30-year-old Nelson, who has two other children, could also seek a new trial instead of accepting the sentence.

Her attorney, David Savoy, told the AJC that her initial inclination is to seek a new trial.

An all-white jury convicted Nelson earlier this month on charges of vehicular homicide, jaywalking and reckless conduct, after a driver killed her son while they attempted to cross the street between a bus stop and their home in Marietta. She faced up to three years in prison.

The boy’s killer, Jerry L. Guy, was sentenced to only six months. Guy, who fled the scene, had two prior hit-and-runs on his record and admitted to having been drinking and using pain killers earlier in the day.

The case sparked a national outcry, with more than 135,000 people signing an online petition asking for leniency for Nelson, according to CNN.

David Goldberg of Transportation for America spoke to us as the story was unfolding.

“Our position is going to be that she certainly should appeal and it should be overturned,” he said. “She should never have been charged. A person with no vehicle should never be charged with vehicular homicide.”

Goldberg said this case should inspire some thought on the part of local transportation and law enforcement officials.

“This is emblematic of bigger problem that exists in metro Atlanta and across the country,” he said. “A case like this puts in stark relief the dangerous designs that exist out there in communities across the country.”

We will be posting updates as the story unfolds.

  • Topper Tom

    Who was the “IDIOT” judge, that even let these charges be brought against this Mother??
    It’s obvious that racial prejudice is still very much alive!!!!!

  • Eric McClure

    It would be a huge injustice for her to have a conviction on her record, so I hope she chooses a retrial.

  • carma

    she should choose NOTHING but retrial.  this case is biased.  and is clearly STUPID to begin with.  she is the VICTIM not the CRIMINAL.  the criminal was the driver.
    Unbelievable, the stupidity of this prosecutor 

  • Jakewegmann

    Thank you Streetsblog for your coverage on this. This is an example of why we need you and the good work you’re doing. It wouldn’t have been possible even 5-10 years ago to get a local case like this the national attention it deserves.

  • So happy to see a travesty avoided.  Whew!  http://honestdespot.blogspot.com/

  • Need justice here, can not be accused of such.

  • Need justice here, can not be accused of such.

  • Anonymous

    This is pathetic race-baiting. You go out of your way to emphasize that Raquel Nelson was convicted by “an all-white jury,” but couldn’t be bothered to mention that her son’s killer, Jerry L. Guy, is black? Shame on you.
     
    We both know damned well that if Guy were white, you’d be shouting that fact from the rooftops.
     
    In case you’re reading this, Ms. Nelson, please accept my condolences for your loss, and best of luck with your retrial.
     
    http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/  

  • Hpteschvoncultzii

    Get a grip Nicholas, I can’t believe your focusing on that stupid issue when there are so many other obvious factors that point to the injustice of this woman being charged! You sound like an angry, bigoted, trailer-park trash white male Georgian! Oh, and I’m white!

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