In this May 2010 photo, Raquel Nelson tends to a shrine for her son A.J. Newman, 4, who was killed April 10, 2010, by a hit-and-run driver near the family's home on Austell road.
A Cobb County woman who faced sentencing for the jaywalking death of her 4-year-old son is getting a new trial.
Raquel Nelson, 30, was convicted of 2nd-degree vehicular homicide in an October 2010 hit-and-run accident in which she and two of her three children were hit while crossing Austell Road. The family had just stepped off a CCt bus, and the nearest crosswalk on the four-lane road was three-tenths of a mile away.
After her conviction, Nelson learned that she could get up to three years in the case. At her sentencing Tuesday morning, the judge gave her 12 months' probation and community service--and then made the unusual move of offering her the chance to have a new trial.
An acquittal in the case would clear Nelson's record.
The hit-and-run driver, Jerry Guy, served six months behind bars and will serve the balance of his five-year sentence on probation. An acquaintance tipped off authorities after Guy fled the scene, and he eventually surrendered. Guy was convicted of similar charges in 1997. Nelson and her younger daughter suffered minor injuries; the older daughter was unhurt. Her attorney says her son, A. J., darted away and was hit by a van.
Nelson told the Today show that giving her the maximum sentence would take her away from the two children she has left.
"To come after me so much harder than they did him--it's a slap in the face," Nelson said. "This will never end for me."