One of our moms suggested that we discuss what’s happening to the 22-year old Stone Mountain woman who has been accused of driving drunk and killing a police officer with her vehicle.
In case you haven’t seen the story here is the basic gist from the AJC (click for full story and more coverage):
“The Stone Mountain woman accused of being drunk when her car slammed into and killed an Atlanta police officer has been cited six times for traffic violations in five years, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office said Thursday.
“Chasity Nicole Jones, 22, will remain in the Fulton County jail for at least the next two weeks after a Fulton County magistrate judge refused to grant bond at a court appearance Thursday morning. Jones was charged with felony first-degree vehicular homicide as well as two misdemeanors, driving under the influence and failure to yield to person authorized to direct traffic following the death of Senior Officer Gail Thomas.”
“Jones was in a jail courtroom Thursday, where Fulton Magistrate Judge Jessy Lall set bond at $15,000 on the two misdemeanors, but refused to allow bond on the vehicular homicide charge.”
“Jones said nothing during the hearing, but repeatedly turned her head to look at her mother, who sat in the back of the small courtroom. A cousin of the Atlanta police officer killed in Tuesday night’s crash was also in the courtroom.”
“Lall scheduled a preliminary hearing for Jones for Feb. 9 in Fulton Superior Court, at which time her lawyers can ask a Superior Court judge to set bond.”
“This was the first arrest for Jones, but she has been six times for traffic offenses, including four times for speeding, a member of the DA’s office told the judge Thursday. Jones has also been cited twice for making erratic lane changes and twice didn’t show up for court appearances, according to the DA’s office.”
“In Nov. 2008, Jones was cited in Gwinnett County for causing a one-vehicle wreck on Five Forks Trickum Road, Cpl. Jake Smith with Gwinnett police told the AJC….”
To me the story is heartbreaking not only for the officer and her family but for the young woman. I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt and I am wondering if this was one alleged bad decision or the culmination of multiple bad things happening in this young woman’s life?
That does seem to be a large number of traffic violations in a short number of years, and I wonder if there was a way for her parents or the police to intervene before the driving allegedly became worse? I wonder if the driving issues are reflective of other issues/problems as well?
What are you thoughts on the story? Do you have any sympathy for the 22-year-old young woman and her family? Was there any way for this to be prevented?