Georgia Mom Convicted of Vehicular Homicide For Crossing Street With Kids

A Google Street View image of the intersection where Raquel Nelson's four-year-old son was killed. There are no crosswalks in sight.

We don’t normally report on vehicle crashes here on the Capitol Hill blog, but this was so outrageous we couldn’t help ourselves.

A 30-year-old woman in Marietta, Georgia was convicted of vehicular homicide this week – and she wasn’t even driving a car. The woman was crossing the street with her three children when a driver, who had been drinking, hit and killed her four-year-old. The driver, Jerry Guy, was initially charged with “hit and run, first degree homicide by vehicle and cruelty to children,” Elise Hitchcock of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “Charges were later dropped to just the hit and run charge.”

The man has previously been convicted of two hit-and-runs – on the same day, in 1997, one of them on the same road where he killed Raquel Nelson’s son.

Guy will serve six months for killing the boy, but Nelson will serve up to 36 months – just for crossing the street with her child. Yes, it’s true: they were not in a crosswalk. Are there any crosswalks on that street at all?

Hitchcock at the AJC says:

The conviction does not sit well with Sally Flocks, president and CEO of PEDS, a pedestrian advocacy organization.

“Invest the money in safe crossings,” Flocks said. “For the costs of the trial yesterday, they could have made a safe crossing. But they don’t want to do that.”

The Atlanta-Sandy-Springs-Marietta, Georgia metro area ranks 11th in the country for most dangerous streets for pedestrians, according to Transportation for America’s recent report on pedestrian safety and street design. The region had nearly 800 pedestrian deaths between 2000 and 2009.

Despite the fact that Atlanta-area municipalities continue to build roads, like the one where Nelson’s son was killed, with inadequate pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, and despite the fact that the federal government continues to vastly underfund pedestrian safety infrastructure on federally-funded roads and highways, the courts have pointed the finger at Nelson, blaming her for the death of her son on a road that was designed with no regard for pedestrian safety.

H/t to Anne Lutz Fernandez for bringing this story to our attention.



124 thoughts on Georgia Mom Convicted of Vehicular Homicide For Crossing Street With Kids

  1. After Casey Anthony was quitted how can this injustice go unoticed. I am sick to my stomach!

  2. What kind of idiotic 18th Century government lets a drunk off with a slap on the wrist and prosecutes a mother of three children for trying to get across the street? Shame on them!

  3. She had no right having that toddler in a major intersection.  The child can not run that fast and why didn’t  the car hit her.  She just wanted the food stamps.I would have taken all of her kids and put her in jail and make her give her life for those kids in order to get them back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Most of those black mothers don’t give a crap about their kids and they torture their kids.DC knnows this as those black people there brutalize their kids even black social workers abuse their kids.Remembering the Jacks kids and others we met that will end up

  4. I am searching for informtaion on a car crash near or on Capital Hill in the 93-95 time. A drunk driver killed one of her children in her car. First name is believed to be Tanya.  Anyone know anything?

  5. Although it probably wasn’t the best idea ever to cross an unsafe road like that one with her children, it certainly doesn’t deserve a prison sentence, let alone one that’s six times more severe than that of the person who actually killed the child, who was also drinking and driving. Something’s really not right here.

  6. I can’t imagine how the Judge – who is trying to convince her (a poor women with children – minus one) to take PROBATION!  Or, how can anyone on the jury live with themselves?  How can they look at themselves in the mirror….Car-ism; Racism; or Class-ism..regardless, TOTALLY insane…

  7. This has to be one of the most pathetic actions ever taken.What nation would even consider bringing charges such as these.What are you,back in the middle ages,do you still burn witches.No wonder your country is going down the tubes.The sooner the better.Oh well is has been stated that with your current economy/morales you will be shooting each other in the streets within a year.

  8. This story makes me sick to my stomach. They better drop the charges against this grieving mother. 800 deaths in 9 years! Fire every politician in the state!! This is INSANE!!

  9. This is not justice in America – this must have been a paid off judge and jury.  We need to get drunk drivers off the road!  This man has done this before and is getting off with a slap on the wrist again?  And the grieving mom is serving the sentence for such a crime?  Our judicial system is to blame for allowing these type of crimes to continue with no punishment for the drunk driver!  Take his license away for good!!  He doesn’t deserve to drive a vehicle, let him ride a bike.

  10. The reptilian-brained redneck scum of Georgia rear their ugly heads again. The charge was absurd, and the jury must have all been drunk or stoned. According to a former prosecutor being interviewed on TV, this was the worst case of prosecutorial abuse he’d ever seen, and
    the judge could easily have thrown the case, because of the absurdity of the charge – vehicular homicide???!!! She wasn’t in a vehicle!!! The hit-and-run drunk was!!! That poor woman loses her child to a repeat hit-and-run drunk, on a notoriously dangerous street???!!! And now she must spend three years in JAIL???!!! The brain-dead prosecutor (what is he? a nazi?), the judge, and all the jurors should be drawn and quartered for the vicious scum they all are. The US and Somalia are the only countries in the world that mete out life sentences to children. I guess it isn’t surprising that such a pack of brain-dead animals exist in the “justice” system in Georgia.

  11. America should be ashame of this action! Bad things happen to good people, but this is harsh…

  12. That is typical of our lovely judicial system.  The one who kills gets next to nothing.  The one who steals a loaf of bread to feed the family gets life.  Remember the law of the land.  If you are going to do a crime, make sure you kill someone in the process.  You will be receive a small sentence.  I read that she was sentenced by a jury.  Where was the judge with some common sense.  This poor woman lost her baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Who’s hand did the murderer butter?

  13. It’s too late to drop the charges, she already had her “trial” (likely with an overworked, incompetant public “defender”) and has been CONVICTED. She was convicted before you wrote this comment, see the title of the article. You are absolutely right though. Unfortunately, govenors don’t pardon innocent people anymore, they don’t want to be labelled “soft on crime”

  14. Casey Anthony is a monster, but she “got off” (she was convicted of a lesser charge and received “time served”) because the DA failed to prove beyond a reasonabe doubt that she committed the crime that she was charged with.

    Did she do it? Hell Yes
    Did the jury to the right thing? YES, because the DA didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty.

  15. The ReTHUGS have been spending like drunken sailors on “Defense” (especially Iraq & Afganistan) and the “War on Drugs”, but that’s ok?

  16. Did Guy have more money than her? Obviously, he didn’t have a potential lawsuit against the government

  17. I take high doses of opioid pain medications with close doctor supervision and have driven while taking them. There is nothing illegal or dangerous about that by itself, HOWEVER
    1) You shouldn’t drive or operate machinery (Heavy or light) until you adjust to your medicaiton and know how it affects you, drowsiness is a common side effect before you adjust to the medications.
    2) Alcohol enhances the drowsiness of opioids and opioids enhance the drowsiness and other impairments caused by alcohol.
    3) NO ONE should drive while taking opioids if there is ANY alcohol in there system

    This man shouldn’t have been driving because:
    1) he’s partially blind
    2) he was drunk
    3) he was drunk while on opioids

  18. WHAAAAATT???? Oooooh, this would raise duch an enormous outrage over this in the Netherlands. It would lead to politicians and judges getting fired and an very, very long investigation. I was right in thinking that Americans are just about one of the most oppressed people in the world, and they don’t even know it.

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