Appeals court hears jaywalking mom’s case

Meanwhile, the new trial she was granted in Cobb County is on hold. 

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

 A woman found guilty in the death of her 4-year-old son when she jaywalked on a busy Cobb County street appealed her conviction Tuesday. 

Raquel Nelson was granted a retrial last fall after a Cobb County jury found her guilty of vehicular homicide in the 2010 death of her son, A.J. Newman.

 Tuesday morning her attorney, Steve Sadow, told the Court of Appeals of Georgia that the Cobb County Solicitor’s office presented insufficient evidence to prove that Nelson was criminally responsible for her son’s death, or to prove that the death wasn’t accidental.

 The driver in this case, Jerry Guy, who was driving while intoxicated , has already served a six-month jail term in connection with the fatal accident.

Prosecutors are displeased with the local court’s decision to grant a new trial and are fighting this thing because they’re fighting “chaos.”

 The Cobb Solicitor General’s office did not provide an oral argument. But in a 29-page brief acquired from the Court of Appeals by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cobb Solicitor General Barry E. Morgan questioned Tankersly’s decision to grant an appeal while defending the evidence used in Nelson’s initial conviction.

“After the trial, the trial court … without providing its rationale, granted appellant a new trial,” the brief said. “The State contends that a jury of [the] Appellant’s peers had ample evidence to support its verdict, and urges this court to deny [the] Appellant’s appeal.”

Morgan’s brief identified two points to support denying the appeal:

1. “The meaning of the term ‘roadway’ in [Georgia’s statute for crossing a road outside a crosswalk] is unambiguous,” and Nelson “was charged with violating this statute because she crossed Austell Road … when it was unsafe to do so.”

2. “To adopt [the] Appellant’s assertion – that a pedestrian has the right of way across all lanes of traffic on a divided highway when she sets foot in the first lane of travel – would create chaos and danger for both drivers and pedestrians. When a pedestrian chooses to cross a divided highway … outside the protection of a crosswalk, she risks her own safety [as] well as the safety of those with her.”

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