Update: Raquel Nelson, who was convicted by a jury this month of vehicular homicide for jaywalking when her son was killed by a hit-run driver, was given probation and 40 hours of community service today. Nelson could have received a 3-year prison sentence, which was a stiffer sentence than the 6 months the driver was given. (Thanks LaTechGrad02 for the tip!)
Originally posted on July 25, 2011 @ 4:11 p.m.
If Raquel Nelson had not broken the law by jaywalking, her 4-year-old son who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver would be alive today. So says a Cobb County jury who convicted the grieving mom of homicide by vehicle in the second degree for not crossing busy four-lane Austell Road at the crosswalk on the evening of Oct. 29, 2010.
Reckless conduct, reckless endangerment and careless disregard for the law, noted the state of Georgia. 12 jurors agreed.
But Nelson, 30, is hoping that a judge will show her some compassion when she is sentenced this week.
Nelson’s 4-year-old son was struck by a car and killed. Nelson and her younger daughter suffered minor injuries, and her older daughter was not injured.
Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting the child when pleading guilty to hit-and-run, served a six-month sentence. He was released in October and will serve the remainder of a five-year sentence on probation.
Guy said he had been drinking "a little" on the day of the accident. But Nelson is facing an even stiffer sentence than the one handed down to her son's killer. This, despite the fact that the driver fled the scene after running over Nelson's son and leaving him for dead.
Nelson is facing up to three years in prison when she is sentenced on Tuesday, according to the Atlanta Journal.
That maximum sentence would be "three years away from the two [children] that I have left,” Nelson told Ann Curry, anchor of NBC’s "Today" show.
Nelson said she and her children crossed Austell Road outside a crosswalk because the nearest one was .3 mile away, and she was “trying to hurry up and get home so we wouldn’t have to be in the dark.”
“Even though he has had a history of [hit-and-run incidents], nobody gets up that day and says, ‘I’m going to kill a 4-year-old,’” Nelson said.
“However, to come after me so much harder than they did him is a slap in the face,” she said.
Nelson also pointed out that none of the Cobb County jurors had ever ridden public transportation.
"They’ve never really been in my shoes, so I think there was maybe not a jury of peers,” she said.