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Jaywalking mom weighs new trial, probation

12:32 PM, Jul 27, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Jaywalking mom sentenced to 1 year probation

Video: Jaywalking mom makes her case on 'Today'

  • Flowers mark the scene where A.J. Nelson, 4, died in a hit-and-run accident.
  • Raquel Nelson appeared on NBC's Today to talk about her conviction for her son's hit-and-run death.
    

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A jaywalking mom may try her luck with a new trial rather than accept probation in the hit-and-run death of her 4-year-old son.

Raquel Nelson was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 40 hours of community service in Cobb County on Tuesday. However, in an unusual move, the judge also gave Nelson the option of another trial.

"We're weighing our options right now," Nelson said on "The Today Show" Wednesday. "There's a part of me that doesn't really want to go through it again, but by the same token, I'll look at it and say, 'You know, if I've done it once, if that's the greater purpose, then I'll do it again.'"

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Earlier this month, a jury convicted Nelson in her son A.J.'s April 2010 death. They were crossing Austell Road with her two other kids, when A.J. was hit and killed by a van.

"I was trying to hurry up and get home, so we wouldn't have to be in the dark," she said during an earlier "Today Show" appearance,  Monday. She noted that the crosswalks were too far away.

The driver of the van, Jerry Guy, left the scene, but an acquaintance turned him in, and Guy eventually pleaded guilty to the hit-and-run. He also confessed to consuming alcohol earlier that day and had two prior hit-and-run convictions.

"Even though he had a history of it, I know no one gets up that day and says 'I'm going to kill a 4-year-old, so I have to forgive that portion of it," Nelson said.

Guy served six months of a five-year sentence.

That might have been the end of a very sad story, but prosecutors decided to pursue charges against Nelson for homicide by vehicle in the second degree and reckless conduct.

They said she put her children in danger by jaywalking.

"To come after me so much harder than they did [Guy], I say it's a slap in the face," Nelson said. 

She had faced up to three years in prison.

"I was just happy to be walking out of the courtroom," she said Wednesday. "This process is not over yet, but there will be an end."

Nelson said she has 30 days to decide if she will accept probation or a new trial. 

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(The Associated Press and NBC contributed to this report.)

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