The father of the 4-year-old Marietta boy killed last year in a hit-and-run wants his ex-wife to pay for her alleged part in the child’s death.
LaBron Newman, Racquel Nelson’s ex-husband and A.J. Newman’s father, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he thought she shouldn’t get a second chance at a trial.
“That’s 100 percent wrong and unfair,” Newman said Thursday by phone from Bedford, Ohio. He said he has been in contact with the Cobb County Solicitor's Office to voice his dissatisfaction.
Newman, 30, said he had only just learned that a Cobb County state judge had dismissed a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge against Nelson and was considering the possibility of dropping two more serious charges ahead of an Oct. 25 retrial.
“I just wanted to get justice for my son," Newman said. "It seems like the case, as far as my son is concerned, just vanished away.”
Nelson could not be reached Thursday, and her attorney, Steve Sadow, declined to comment.
A.J. Newman was killed in April 2010 when he pulled away from his mother’s grasp and ran into the path of hit-and-run driver Jerry L. Guy’s speeding van.
It was nighttime and he had been waiting with his mother and other bus riders to cross from the median on Austell Road to the other side where their apartment was.
Guy was convicted last year and served six months in jail. But Nelson’s conviction in July was essentially overturned when Judge Katherine Tanksley offered the choice of 12 months' probation or a do-over in her trial.
And last week, during pretrial motions, Tanksley said she would consider the request from Sadow to drop charges of vehicular homicide and crossing outside a crosswalk.
Newman said he believed the original conviction and corresponding sentence were fair.
Newman and Nelson were officially divorced on May 19, 2011 after Newman filed a second time for divorce in February claiming Nelson took the children and left in the middle of the night sometime in 2007.
The court noted, however, that the duration of the marriage was from Oct. 7, 2005 until June 1, 2007.
The divorce decree also stated that Nelson failed to respond when she was served divorce papers.
Newman said the last time he saw his son and younger daughter Lauryn was in 2007, just before Nelson left, and claims she seldom responded to his requests to speak with his children.
He said he had to learn about A.J.’s death through church members.
“She didn’t even have the respect to tell me my son is dead,” he said.
He said he is frustrated that Nelson’s TV appearances in the wake of her conviction and pending sentencing in July gave her a national platform.
“When she was on Good Morning America and she talked about possible jail time, she said it would be three years away from her kids,” he said. “That’s what happened to me.”