Girl who allegedly killed officer: One bad choice or something preventable?

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?

163 comments Add your comment

MomsRule

January 27th, 2012
5:13 am

I have no sympathy for her. She drove drunk and took a life. Actions have consequences.

catlady

January 27th, 2012
7:04 am

No sympathy here, either. This wasn’t a one-time thing. Now a family is deprived of their breadwinner. This was preventable. Why wasn’t she in jail as a repeat offender? SIX previous arrests?!

ABC

January 27th, 2012
7:12 am

No sympathy either and I guarantee if the 22-year-old had been an African-American young lady, this wouldn’t even be news. She’d be locked up and left to rot.

gritsiam

January 27th, 2012
7:32 am

no sympathy at all for her.

Me

January 27th, 2012
7:36 am

All it takes is one bad decision — Is there a magic number of “bad decisions” necessary before consequences should be suffered? She made the, in my mind, obvious decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while imparied – and, not just a little impaired, but DOUBLE the alcohol limit deemed legal. Without question, that was a “single” bad decision but to give her any “benefit of the doubt” isn’t the stance I would take. Preventable? Aren’t they all?? Any time an individual drives a vehicle while intoxicated equeates to both a “bad decision” and an action that is very much “preventable.
I know, for example, that @catlady chooses not to imbide – and she has her reasons for such. I, on the other hand, very much enjoy an alcoholic beverage and usually partake in a couple every afternoon after work. But I do this at home where I feel I’m free to partake should I choose.
When my wife and I go out to dinner and, should alcohol be served, literally only one of us drinks and the other immediately becomes the DD. Sure, we compromise and “take turns” but there is no way in hell that I will jeopardize my career, my life as I know it, and I’m sure as crap not going to have an adverse affect of some innocent person due to a “preventable bad decision”.
@ABC, I think you should wait until this 22-year-old isn’t properly punished before you start any racially-biased crap – unless, of course, you have inside knowledge and/or you are the judge/jury.
Okay — Sorry for the length and stepping off my soapbox now…

Me

January 27th, 2012
7:46 am

@TWG, wait a second, are you actually thinking that a 22-year-old, at this point in her life, does not know right from wrong? Wasn’t she a server at Longhorn where alcoholic beverages are served? As such, doesn’t she have the “duty to act” in refusing to serve someone who is obviously intoxicated?You seem to imply that perhaps her family life while being reared could be to blame almost as if you are stating that she was “taught” that drinking and driving are acceptable or implying that the parental unit “coulda, woulda, shoulda” done more.
I always get so frustrated when I hear people state, in one form or another, that “society” is to blame…

General Public

January 27th, 2012
7:58 am

“Was there any way for this to be prevented?”

Umm, Don’t Drink and Drive?

homeschooler

January 27th, 2012
8:08 am

Did anybody see the interview with this girl’s mother? “I told her to quit drinking. No, it’s not a problem I guess she just forgets she’s drinking and drives”. OMG. This was not a one time bad decision. Even if it was, she took a life. There is no excuse. I was a teenager in the 80’s and not drinking and driving was so ingrained in our brains, we just didn’t do it. The teens I know today are that way about texting and driving. They just don’t do it.
I think, as a whole, the only people who drink and drive in this day are people who do it all the time. You don’t just decide the one time you drink in a year to get behind the wheel. You are either against is or not. If you’re not or if you have an alcohol problem (as this girl obviously did) you suffer the consequences. In this case, that might be life in jail.
I suspect this girl’s mother gave her No direction No consequences. This girl was on a path to destroying her life. She and the rest of us will be better off with her in jail.

Augusta

January 27th, 2012
8:25 am

My comment got eaten…And I apologied for my testiness for the last couple of days…..

i LOVE...

January 27th, 2012
8:33 am

@Augusta,
I apologize to you for my testiness. I have been super preggo hormone lady lately! Four weeks to go and I feel like I am going to lose a pelvis soon! I’m sure you’re an awesome parent. Sorry for my mean comments.

There is no sympathy in my body for this 22 year old woman.

And I am thinking that some investigating needs to be done into why she had not been jailed before this!

K's mom

January 27th, 2012
8:33 am

No sympathy here either. My brother was hit by a drunk driver about 15 years ago and luckily walked away from a vehicle that flipped 3 times. We were fortunate. Drunk Driving is serious and the driver should be charged with vehicular homicide.

I do not think it matters that the woman who was killed was a police officer and I am unsure why that is such a big part of the news. The bottom line is she was someone’s loved one and she died a preventable death because of someone’s selfishness and stupidity.

motherjanegoose

January 27th, 2012
8:38 am

No sympathy from me…she took a life.

We just spoke with someone whose husband got a $700 ticket for incorrectly passing a police officer who had pulled a vehicle over on the side of the road ( it was not him…he was just driving nearby).

I cannot imagine being a parent and getting the call that this is your child. I have known very few people whose adult children are in jail. Heartbreaking for sure. Something I hope I never experience. I also knew of someone who went to a party in their own neighborhood and was t-boned on the way home by a drunk driver…paralyzed for life.

My own children know that there are two kinds of mistakes…those that derail you a bit such as losing your wallet/keys, failing a class, etc. and then those that are life altering…such as this one above. We try to avoid the life altering ones…even though they know we will help them but there is not too much you can do on this one but take your lumps.

Our son knew someone who left a party drunk and plowed into a tree and died. They hid his keys from him and he found an emergency set hidden on his car. It made quite an impression on him.
He was working that night but he called us to tell us the story and later attended the funeral. He told us that the parents looked horrible and I replied that we would look the same way. Our little dog was plowed over before my daughter’s eyes by someone who was presumably drunk and driving in our neighborhood. Since there was no police report, we will never know.

What a terrible ( preventable) thing for this police officer’s family.

Augusta

January 27th, 2012
8:39 am

@iRun…..we’re good!!! Good luck with the final countdown to the delivery. Is this your first?

And to everyone else out there, I do apologize for my testiness, rudeness and general all around nastiness. This weather has been affecting me the last couple of days. It’s hot, it’s cold, it rains, the sun peeks out, it’s overcast. I don’t like winter weather. I need sunshine!!!!!

So I apologize to everyone!!!!

Camille

January 27th, 2012
8:45 am

@catlady,

She didn’t have 6 previous arrest. She had 5 previous TRAFFIC CITATIONS and the other offense isn’t specified.

What she did was wrong and she desirves to go to jail. But while everyone sits and points and judges, I’m sure you have all been behind the wheel under the influence as well. So intead of turning up our nose at this person. Everyone makes mistakes. You shouldn’t have so much to say on situation that has nothing to do with yall.

Oh yea, im going there...

January 27th, 2012
8:47 am

The only reason your willing to give her some sympathy (whether you realize it or not) is she is a young, cute, HWP, white, northside atlanta female. She broke the law, she killed a cop, no mercy. If it were my daughter I’d feel the same way.

Soccer MILF

January 27th, 2012
8:49 am

We need to bring in some old school singaporean punishment for people actin a fool and we will see a decrease in this stuff. But libtards will not let that happen. They get upset when we drop water on the heads of terrorist in Gino so hitting a citizen with a cane is really not going to fly.

Want to put a stop to domestic violence, DUIs, bad parenting and bad adult decision making? Make the reprecussions mean something.

Soccer MILF

January 27th, 2012
8:50 am

I will say this….a lot of people who want the book thrown at her think OJ was innocent and Vick deserved a second chance in the NFL to make millions. Jus sayin!!!

I think the girl needs to serve to ensure she never does this again.

  

January 27th, 2012
8:50 am

Before everyone calls for the young lady to be burned at the stake, which is the sort of typical knee-jerk reaction seen from the average layperson, remember that getting a DUI does not necessarily mean you’re drunk.

However obviously it’s unfortunate and she wasn’t being careful. In my opinion ANY accident is unfortunate, and we have to try to avoid them the best we can.

PS: one of posters was (predictably) playing the race card. You can stop doing that. It’s 2012.

BusyMom

January 27th, 2012
8:51 am

No sympathy here either. She killed someone, so she should go to jail just as if she had killed someone with a gun.

  

January 27th, 2012
8:54 am

The only reason your willing to give her some sympathy (whether you realize it or not) is she is a young, cute, HWP, white, northside atlanta female.

No. Unless you’re clairvoyant and can read minds, you don’t get to make assumptions and claim to know what other people are thinking.

If anything, I consider anyone who’s lived a priviledged life to get a little bit less sympathy from me.

However I prefer to take the emotion out of the situation and be unbiased & look at all the facts first.

Oh yea, im going there...

January 27th, 2012
8:56 am

Oh, just so you know, I’m white.

Laquisha Monesha Jackson

January 27th, 2012
8:56 am

Ya’ll just hatin cause a white girl done did wrong this time. yall some ignorant bustas!

motherjanegoose

January 27th, 2012
8:56 am

Camille…I am going out on a limb here and saying that this is a bit larger than a mistake. A mistake is a car accident when you are not drinking and when someone pulls right in front of you. A mistake is when I was looking at my daughter and her friend in the back seat of my car and ran into a mailbox in our neighborhood. I realize that she did not kill this police officer on purpose but she did get behind the wheel drunk and it does not say that anyone forced her …she made that choice. If you do something illegal does that fall into the “mistake” category? I do not think so. Maybe I am the only one?

Augusta asked about this yesterday and so TWG is using it for the topic today and now you think we should not have so much to say about it…can TWG win here? That is what we do on this blog… comment on situations.

Oh yea, im going there...

January 27th, 2012
8:56 am

Oh, just so you know I am also fat and dumb….

JATL

January 27th, 2012
8:59 am

It’s not that I have a ton of sympathy for the woman who killed the officer. It’s a general sadness that in addition to a life being ended, another life has also been ruined -all due to complete stupidity. I certainly don’t think Chasity intended to kill anyone, but she obviously cannot drive well, and she chose to drive drunk and look where she is now. It IS awful, and it’s even more awful for the family and friends of the police officer who is dead. There’s no way she shouldn’t go to jail. This was vehicular manslaughter plain and simple.

Whenever she DOES get back out into society, I don’t think she should ever be allowed to have a driver’s license again. Due to her prior citations for poor driving (and honestly -she’s not very old, so she’s getting at least a ticket a year here) and this capper -she doesn’t need to operate a motor vehicle.

Oh yea, im going there...

January 27th, 2012
9:02 am

I am fat and dumb, but I have never killed a cop and I know that this blog would not have been written if it had been a young girl from east atlanta. I’ve lived here my entire life. You can take personal shots at me if it makes you feel better about it, but it’s true.

homeschooler

January 27th, 2012
9:05 am

She registered a .16, she was most definitely drunk. AND her mother said she had a drinking problem. I am the first person to feel sorry for people who make bad decisions that end in dire consequences but this is not one of those cases.
@ Camille. I don’t know what world you live in but people I know don’t drink and drive. I am the only person I know who will drive after one drink. My friends and family have a strict “one drink and someone else drives” policy. Recently I had one drink at a restaurant in Florida. It turned out to be really strong. As soon as I noticed the effects, I gave the keys to my sister-in-law.
Sometimes there are grey areas in these situations. No grey here. Not drinking and driving is NOT a new concept. This girl had no regard for others, and she obviously had no regard for the court system or she would have shown up for court on her traffic charges.

Oh yea, im going there...

January 27th, 2012
9:05 am

In fact im so dumb I meant to say west side atlanta, not east, so that point proven.

Max

January 27th, 2012
9:09 am

DUI means that your ability to drive is impaired by either drugs or alcohol. I have no sympathy for this young lady. She chose to get behind the wheel, and unfortunately she killed someone. Hope that she gets more than a slap on the hand.

I wonder what was the state of the others in the car with her if she was the one driving.

mom2alex&max

January 27th, 2012
9:09 am

Can you explain how getting a DUI does not mean you are drunk? I’m not being sarcastic, I seriously would like to know.

Augusta

January 27th, 2012
9:16 am

DUI Driving under the influence. Either alcohol or drugs. You are under the influence of SOMETHING in order to get a DUI….go check out gwinnett.mugs. You will see DUI-Drugs on some of the charges.

homeschooler

January 27th, 2012
9:26 am

DUI does mean alcohol or drugs but in this case, she was clearly drunk.

JOD

January 27th, 2012
9:26 am

I am so sick of this ‘allegedly’ PC BS. If witnesses see you kill someone with your car, it is not allegedly. Does the fact that the victim was a cop make it somehow worse, no, but it is a tragedy that this woman went to work everyday to protect the public and some jerk who couldn’t be bothered to call a cab took her life away.

For anyone playing the race card, the victim is black, the perp white, and many of us calling for justice are white. I am, and I think the justice system should throw the book at her for a series of bad decisions culminating in the ultimate irresponsible behavior.

As for DD, I know I would love her no matter what, but I would grieve her terrible decisions and pray for the victim’s family and friends. She’s my daughter no matter what. I feel so sad for the mom, but it appears she did have an idea of her daughter’s behavior, so I feel more sorrow for the victim’s daughter, who was pulled from school by an in-person visit from the police that family members dread.

@Augusta – This weather is enough to make anyone grumpy.

Jeff

January 27th, 2012
9:34 am

No sympathy. I had a DUI years ago and it was a simple issue of a cop following me I to a parking garage, then questioning me when I got out with my groceries. Technically, I broke the law, so imhave no reason to be indignant about it. As a matter of fact, it changed the way I looked at drinking and made me look at myself pretty deeply. I didn’t do jail time, but paid, and continue to pay, in other ways.

Mine didn’t invole an accident or anyone else being injured or killed, so there’s a difference in the outcome. But as someone who tries to think logically, did my DUI prevent me from having one of those sometime later in life? Although there are no guarantees on predicting the future, the logical guess is yes.

She needs to be held accoutable for her actions. And the community has the right to protect itself from people and situations that it deems a threat to the community itself. And the community is the one that gets to set the standards.

See, I learned quite a bit! :).

Augusta

January 27th, 2012
9:38 am

I have a niece who lives in Athens, GA. She tells me there are PLENTY of taxi’s people can use when partying. And they also have a “Designated Dawgs” program. Sorority girls and fraternity guys will come and get you, take you home, and will take you to your car the next day. FOR FREE!!!!

Max

January 27th, 2012
9:41 am

Even if the incident is on video and 1000 people saw it. “Allegedly” will still have to be used until there is a conviction to keep from being sued for slander.

JOD

January 27th, 2012
10:07 am

@Max – I know, but it’s one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse for our country as far as I’m concerned.

jarvis

January 27th, 2012
10:29 am

Tragic for everyone involved. So many lives ruined.
She took a life and will do the time as she should.

jarvis

January 27th, 2012
10:31 am

@Oh yea, im going there… Stone Mountain is due East of Atlanta.

motherjanegoose

January 27th, 2012
10:39 am

To me, this weather is NOTHING compared to those who endure piles of snow and subzero temps all winter. I was near St. Louis 2 weeks ago and it was snowing like crazy. I stood in my hotel room and debated going out to warm my car up and drive out to eat or stay in and eat in the hotel. I stayed in! I am thrilled that we do not have to shovel or use an ice scraper on our car each day. Rain and clouds are not a big deal, to me, as we know the sun will eventually come back and then some will be complaining that it is too hot. I am worried with the daffodils and cherry blossoms blooming…since we typically have a surprise snow storm in Feb. or March if it is warm in Jan. and then I would rather be done with winter…that’s just me!

Ed from SD

January 27th, 2012
10:54 am

My heart goes out to the family of the deceased. She was a great person working at a job and she was killed by a bad driver. I observe drivers not yielding to these same situations on a daily occurance. Just because you live in a big city doesn’t give you the right to not slow down and give these people a break. Sure drinking was a big part of her decision making, but, it appears that she was the kind of driver that didn’t take into consideration the dangers that officers and the like face when they are in these situations. Slow down and onserve, because, the live you save maybe a wonderful person like this officer!

Fred

January 27th, 2012
11:16 am

I feel sorry for the girl. Ya’ll are just a bunch of self righteous hypocrites in my opinion. you NEVER go 36 in a 35 zone. You NEVER roll through a stop sign you ALWAYS do 54 on the interstate and use a turn signal every time you turn or change lanes………… Yeah right.

I also felt sorry for that girl a couple of Thanksgivings back who killed a couple of people and her mom sent her car away to have it fixed. It’s sad to see young kids do stupid, preventable things that cost people their lives.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think she shouldn’t be punished. She (like MOST of you) just couldn’t believe in their were consequences to her actions. I know that NONE of you talk on your cell phones while driving, (something that has been proven to be more dangerous than driving drunk). I’m not typing TEXTING, I typed TALKING. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/DrivingIssues/20060830105036.html

So how many of you self righteous stone tossers are Chatty Cathy while driving down the road putting MY life in jeopardy? Oh but that’s different right? It’s different because unlike this young lady you haven’t had to pay the consequences for your stupidity and lack of “belief” that it’s dangerous.

To answer your question Theresa, yes it was preventable. Yes the girl was stupid and irresponsible and yes I feel sorry for her and her family. As well as the family of the cop. But sometimes stupid does have consequences.

Voice of Reason

January 27th, 2012
11:30 am

You can’t fix stupid, but you can lock it up for a long time to keep it from hurting others.

I’ll say it again, teach your kids the difference between right and wrong and that their decisions have consequences that they need to take into consideration and hopefully they will be able to avoid the stupid.

Because the stupid, IT BURNS!

homeschooler

January 27th, 2012
12:08 pm

Fred, I think what you are trying to say is that we can have sympathy or feel sorry for her without believing that she should be released and go on her merry way. I can agree with that. As many on this blog know, I work for DFCS and see poor decision making constantly. I often say I feel sorry for someone but that has no bearing on the consequences that they have to face. I might “feel sorry” for the meth. addict who’s crying as I take away her kid or an 18 yr old guy who’s locked up for shaking a baby that his girlfriend left him to take care of when he had no idea how to take care of a baby. I do “feel sorry” for the fact that their life came to that moment. Others around me will say, “how do you feel sorry for him/her”. I can’t explain it. It hurts to see another human hurting. I have to say I even felt sorry for the guy who killed the girl in Canton. I was pretty closely involved in that case. He was a pathetic human being and did the world a favor by ending his life.
I think, though, that our society can not let our feelings change the way we handle these types of situations. I can feel sorry for these people but not lose sleep over the fact that they will be in prison. There are so many other things to lose sleep over.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 27th, 2012
12:15 pm

Fred– I think about that all the time — one moment of distraction while you are driving and you could be in jail for manslaughter.

RoadRage

January 27th, 2012
12:17 pm

And Fred – you are perfect? You’ve never broken any laws? How’s that glass house working for you?

This COULD have been avoided. The girl could have stayed home and drank. She could have called a taxi, someone else should have been driving. But she CHOSE to get behind the wheel of the car. SHE chose to drive while severely impaired. Why she didn’t see the flashing blue lights on the side of the road, is unknown. But, she knew enough to stop. At least she didn’t flee the scene.

Maybe if she had left the bar earlier, or a few minutes later, this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if she had NOT drank as much….. Now she has to live with the consequences. She killed someone. I bet she NEVER takes a drink of alcohol ever again.

But the fact is, she CHOSE this path. Now she must pay the consequences. It’s as simple as that. You are responsible for your own actions, and your actions have consequences!!! This was a consequence that could have been avoided.

Denise

January 27th, 2012
12:19 pm

@Fred – thank you! I was just sitting here thinking the same thing. We all do things that are not perfect but, by the grace of God, we are not faced with having killed another person. Does she deserve to go to jail, yes. This is hard for me because my brother is a stone cold alcoholic that drives drunk and it scares me to death for him and everybody else on the road. We can do NOTHING to reach him…and trust me we’ve ALL tried. He thinks he’s invincible and that he can drive as well after drinking as he can sober. Yes he is stupid. but what else can we do? The same as what this woman’s mother could do…nothing. Does he know right from wrong? Hell yeah. So it’s not a matter of knowing right from wrong. He’s had a DUI and has spent 2 nights in jail but that has not changed his behavior so it’s not just knowing consequences. He is doing better because he’s made an agreement with his girlfriend but I’m scared for the next time EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE but I’m helpless, especially being 8 hours away. And yes, I lose sleep over it. I won’t move home to Louisiana because I can’t deal with what is going on from here so I’d be a mess living there. So yeah I feel sorry for this girl’s family. You don’t know what they’ve been through and will go through.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 27th, 2012
12:24 pm

Amen Denise.

K's mom

January 27th, 2012
12:28 pm

Good points Fred, Denise and Homeschooler.

motherjanegoose

January 27th, 2012
12:46 pm

Yes, we know about alcoholics here…my father in law is one. The last time I rode with him, years ago, I determined I would never get in a vehicle with him again. My children have never ridden in the car with him. Scary stuff for sure! Twenty Five years ago, I reached into my glove box ( near a stop sign in a neighborhood) to get something and barely popped into a car in front of me. No damage, as the car was so old you would not be able to tell anything either way. This was way before cell phones. Things can happen very quickly to anyone who is driving a car but getting into a car when you are drunk, tips the odds against you IMHO.