When the media become involved in a controversial case, an accused person may feel that a fair trial is out of reach. An individual charged with a felony offense may find that the alleged crime has already been made public. This discovery can lead to frustration and despair for defendants, many of whom are subjected to media bias before they enter the courtroom.
A Seattle Times story on Dec. 5 detailed the ongoing case of a Seattle woman charged with felony hit-and-run for an altercation that took place on the morning of Nov. 28. According to police reports, the woman became concerned about the actions of a group of female students who were walking along 26th Avenue Southwest.
Two dogs approached the girls, including a pit bull owned by the defendant. The dog owner then apparently witnessed one of the students hit the pit bull. The woman left her house and confronted the student in question about the alleged incident. According to reports, both parties subsequently began physically fighting with one another.
An emergency call was placed by one of the students in the group. As they continued away from the scene, the accused woman followed the students in her vehicle. She then allegedly got out of her car and moved toward the girls with a Taser. When the students retreated, the woman got back into her vehicle and apparently continued following them.
The incident ended after the suspect's car hit two of the students, causing injury to both girls. Unfortunately, the dog owner then left the scene of the accident before authorities arrived. She surrendered a day later on Nov. 29 and was later released from custody on her own recognizance.
During pre-trial preparation, the media often reports only part of an aggravated felony case with any degree of accuracy. Individuals facing more serious charges need to make sure that their side of the story is revealed in court. Gathering as much information as possible about the legal options available to them can help to balance the scales of justice more evenly and can help lead to a fair outcome.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Seattle woman charged with running down Chief Sealth students," Sara Jean Green, Dec. 5, 2012
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