Jaywalking mom spends night in jail
by Lindsay Field
August 16, 2012 12:40 AM | 3002 views | 3 3 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Cobb County mother who was charged in 2010 after her 4-year-old son was struck and killed on Austell Road was arrested last week on charges, including fleeing from police.

Raquel Nelson, 31, was arrested Friday around 11:35 a.m. in the 200 block of Gibbs Street near Southern Polytechnic State University on charges of fleeing from police, speeding, expired/no tag and illegal window tint, all misdemeanors. She was released from the Cobb County Jail the next day on a $1,000 bond.

Cobb Police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce Police said two motorcycle officers on Cobb Parkway measured her as driving 64 mph in a 45-mile-per-hour zone. The officers motioned her to pull over, but she drove around them and pulled into the SPSU campus, Pierce said.

Pierce said officers began searching the area when construction workers pointed them towards the back part of a parking lot, where they found her parked behind another vehicle.

She was arrested without incident and her car was impounded, according to police.

Jail records indicate her court date will be Oct. 16.

Atlanta attorney Steve Sadow, who is representing Nelson in her 2010 case, said Wednesday that he had not heard about his client’s Friday arrest.

Sadow said the appeal he filed with the Georgia Court of Appeals earlier this year regarding Nelson’s 2010 case is still pending.

He is appealing Cobb State Court Judge Kathryn Tanksley’s Oct. 17, 2011, decision to not dismiss second-degree vehicular homicide and jaywalking charges against Nelson. Tanksley dismissed a reckless conduct charge at an Oct. 5, 2011, hearing. Nelson was convicted on all three charges in July, but Tanksley is allowing her a new trial in lieu of probation.

According to an appeals court clerk, the court has until December to rule.

Nelson was charged in April 2010 after her son, A.J., died after he was hit by a van on Austell Road at Austell Circle near Somerpoint Apartments in Marietta.

Nelson and her three children had just gotten off a bus along the five-lane street. She led her children across a median instead of walking to a crosswalk three-tenths of a mile away, according to court records. Nelson’s daughter safely crossed the street, but A.J. was hit by a van driven by Jerry Guy of Marietta, who had been drinking earlier in the day while taking pain medication and was partially blind in one eye, according to court records.

When convicted in July, Nelson was sentenced to a year’s probation and 40 hours of community service, sparing her the three-year prison sentence she could have gotten for the charges. But Tanksley also made her the unusual offer of a new trial, which Nelson accepted.

A new trial could wipe the probation sentence from Nelson’s record but could also mean a tougher penalty. Nelson has said she’s willing to take that risk because she wants to clear her name.

Guy pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run and was sentenced to six months in prison. He had two previous hit-and-run convictions from 1997.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Just Wait
August 16, 2012
I guess dear mom has proven she is careless. Careless to obey the speed limit, careless to obey a police officer, careless of others to fell the police, careless to hide from them, careless to buy her car tag. Careless now, careless then. At least no one died this time.
August 16, 2012
Wait a minute....the last paragraph--a guy (literally, Guy) drives drunk and kills a child, after two previous hit-and-run convictions, and gets only six months???? What is the court thinking? This piece of trash needs a minimum of 6 years, not months! Or 60 years, for that matter! All the focus on the mom--who definitely screwed up and broke the law, but only 6 months for a 3 time hit-and-run who kills a child???
August 16, 2012
...the court found the mother at fault for the child's death. The driver was never charged with that offense. His sentence for hit and run is commensurate with precendent given the two prior offenses.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides