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Friday, September 7, 2012

Cobb County mother convicted of vehicular homicide after child was struck crossing dangerous road loses appeal

The Cobb County intersection where Nelson and her son attempted to cross
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  • The Cobb County intersection where Nelson and her son attempted to cross
The Cobb County mother who was convicted of vehicular homicide after her son was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while they jaywalked across a dangerous road has lost her appeal of the conviction. Writes Marcus Garner:

In the appeal, Sadow argued that the Cobb County Solicitor’s Office presented insufficient evidence to prove she was criminally responsible for the death of her 4-year-old son, A.J. Newman.

“Had she not been [crossing the street] there, there would be no accident,” Sadow told the three appellate judges in the May 17 hearing. “But legally, she was not the cause of the child’s death.”

But Appellate Judges Charles B. Mikell, M. Yvette Miller and William M. Ray II disagreed.

“The trial court’s exercise of its discretion in granting a new trial based upon its finding that the verdict is against the weight of the evidence differs from a judgment of acquittal holding that the evidence is legally insufficient,” Miller wrote in an opinion released last week.

Nelson's case earned national headlines and attracted the interest of pedestrian advocates, who correctly noted the flaws with the Cobb County road the mother and children tried to cross. Many, including Sally Flocks, the executive director of Atlanta-based PEDS, a pedestrian advocacy group, hoped the tragedy would help government officials realize the dangers of designing roads simply to speed along cars at the expense of pedestrians.

Nelson's lawyer says he'll try to have the case heard before the Georgia Supreme Court.

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