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Convicted Mom: 'This Will Never End'

Raquel Nelson takes her plea for mercy to the "Today" show a day before her sentencing in her son's death, caused by a hit-and-run driver.

The mother says she isn’t focusing on the possibility that she will serve more jail time than the drunken driver who killed her boy.

“I’ve had to accept that he’s gotten six months,” Raquel Nelson said on this morning’s Today show on NBC. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Under a plea deal, Jerry Guy served six months of a five-year sentence for hit-and-run in the child’s death April 10, 2010. It was his third hit-and-run conviction.

A judge Tuesday could sentence Nelson, 30, to a year behind bars for each of the three misdemeanors a jury convicted her of this month: second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless conduct and crossing a roadway elsewhere than a crosswalk.

A prison term of three years is highly unlikely for misdemeanors, but regardless of the sentence, Nelson said, “this will never end for me.”

She said the worst part of any prison sentence would be the separation from her two daughters.

“I think my other two daughters are the reason I was able to survive the situation,” Nelson said.

Loretta Williams, an aunt of Nelson’s who appeared with her on Today, said she hopes the judge is compassionate enough to let Nelson stay with her surviving children.

The girls were with Nelson when son A.J. darted into Austell Road that April evening and was fatally struck by Guy’s car. Nelson and one of her daughters also were hit and slightly injured.

Nelson and the children were crossing from their bus stop to their apartment complex after a grocery-shopping trip. The nearest crosswalk was a little more than 500 yards away.

Today’s Ann Curry asked why the family crossed in the middle of Austell Road, and Nelson said that even if they had gone to the crosswalk, they would have been forced to cross a dark side street to get home.

Following a common thread in , Nelson said she didn’t think the middle-class jury that convicted her represented her peers.

“I don’t think they could relate to what I was going through,” she said, because they didn’t use public transit and weren’t single mothers. “They’ve never really been in my shoes.”

mary collins finn July 25, 2011 at 11:20 PM
This is ridiculous. I hope the judge shows compassion.
karen friedmann July 25, 2011 at 11:25 PM
I watched the morning show and was SICKENED by this woman's conviction and that despicable man's sentence!!!!!!!!!!! This is justice?! My heart goes out to Raquel and her family, for what they went through that night and ever since. What a strong woman.
Poot July 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Tragically, BOTH people are responsible for this death, whether you people like it or not. To behave as if the drunk driver was solely responsible is being rather tunnelvisioned considering this woman was responsible for placing the child in harms way by performing an illegal act. This is why jaywalking is illegal, kids... or do you just pick the laws to enforce based on sympathy and race? And, just because she CAN be sentenced to that much, don't simply assume she will be. Her place is with her kids, and I'm sure the judge knows that.
Wayne Ivy July 26, 2011 at 02:48 PM
This is an agregious abuse of our judicial system. First you have this individual who has been involved in his third hit and run, how is it possible that he keeps getting a chance to do it again. Secondly, you have the justice system in Cobb County being heartless and evil by bringing greater suffering to Ms. Nelson and her family, by prosecuting her. These charges were over reaching and malicious. Wayne
Cheryl Vinson July 26, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Thank you for removing the aforementioned comment. I was rather surprised to see it and even moreso that it had not been removed. There was no cause for the type of language that was used. Certainly the person could have expressed themselves in a more mature and less offensive way.

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