Raquel Nelson sentenced; no jail time, new trial possibleJuly 26, 2011
By Stephen Lee Davis
|“I feel like her sentencing, it doesn’t just criminalize her, but people in like circumstances whose sole transportation is their feet”
- Lisa Cupid, South Cobb resident who delivered 17 letters from Nelson’s supporters to the judge today.
Updated 7/26 5:41 p.m.: Raquel Nelson told the AJC that she has opted for a new trial. No details yet on when or where, but her attorney has made it clear that she will fight the charges once again in a new trial.
Raquel Nelson had her moment in Cobb County court this morning. After an emotional defense from her attorney and tearful witness testimonies defending Nelson’s character and requesting leniency, Judge Katherine Tanksley sentenced her to 12 months probation and 40 hours of community service, suspended the fines, and according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, gave her a choice between accepting that sentence or having a new trial.
A few outlets, including the AJC and the Marietta Patch, are reporting that Nelson will continue to fight these charges and seek a new trial.
In case you haven’t been following, Raquel Nelson is an Atlanta mother who was convicted of vehicular homicide when a hit-and-run driver killed her youngest son while she was crossing a street with her three children from a bus stop to her apartment complex. Read our initial post here.
Almost 140,000 people signed a petition asking the judge for leniency (and for Cobb County to install a crosswalk) in the case. The judge mentioned that she had gotten letters and petitions from across the state and the country. And several letters the defense received were read on Nelson’s behalf.
We’re elated for Raquel Nelson and her family that she won’t receive any jail time or be taken away from her other two children, but continue to be astounded that she was convicted for vehicular manslaughter in the first place. We’ll have more information and a detailed post soon. Should she seek a new trial and keep fighting? Should she be pardoned and cleared of all charges instead?
Check #RaquelNelson for updates on twitter.