November 4, 2010 by staff
At a hearing in tears Friday, where many relied on God to explain the tragedy, Aimee Michael was sentenced to 50 years. A judge ordered him to serve 36 years in prison with the rest of probation. It is definitely prohibited from obtaining a driver’s license from Georgia, said the judge.
The accident destroyed three families. Three children were among the dead in two cars on Camp Creek Parkway on April 12, 2009. And Michael, a recent graduate of a stable family, had a promising life ahead.
In a rare show of emotion, J. M. Kimberly Esmond Adams, his voice wavering and his eyes filled with tears, said she believed that children become angels at death. A former prosecutor, she said this case was the hardest she had ever treated.
“And it was by far the most tragic case I’ve ever seen,” she said.
On Monday, a jury convicted Michael of causing an accident that forced a Mercedes to get out of control in traffic, causing a collision with a Volkswagen Beetle. An entire family was killed in the Mercedes, and a little girl died in the Volkswagen.
Michael fled the scene and attempted to conceal his role in organizing repairs to the BMW she was driving. His mother, Sheila Michael, pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to help with the cover-up.
Adams ordered the mother to eight years in prison for not turning his daughter to the police.
Sheila Michael, who was an elementary school teacher with a Master of Business Administration, should have been better, “said Adams.
“As the mother, Mrs. Michael, you must do the right thing,” said Adams. “When you needed to be his mother, he missed you.”
Killed in the accident were the Mercedes driver, Robert Carter, his wife, Delisia, their son 2 months, Ethan Carter Delisia Carter and her daughter, Kayla Lemons, 9.
In the Volkswagen, Morgan Johnson, 6, was killed. Her mother, Tracie, now 44, survived but suffered broken legs, a broken hip and collarbone and damage to the spleen and liver.
For the next 10 days, the police would search frantically for gold BMW, with pieces of the car which had been torn in the accident to be identified. Finally, based on advice from neighbors, he found an officer in the driveway of the Michaels’ home in southern Fulton County, his body repaired and the smell of fresh paint.
Attorney Tanya Miller said Friday that the judge kept the jury: Police found a “marijuana cigarette” in the ashtray of the BMW and had DNA Aimee Michael on it. It was not presented at trial because the police had no evidence linking Michael to the time of the accident, and the judge ruled it was prejudicial for the jury.
“What do we say is that smoking marijuana in the car, in all likelihood, while driving,” said Miller, adding that Michael has admitted to a psychological evaluation that she had been a “habitual” user of marijuana since his teens.
Miller asked the judge to sentence Michael Aimee to 50 years in prison – the same penalty that Michael was offered a plea deal she refused. But for the mother, who had pleaded guilty, Miller recommended that five years, with three of them in prison.
Mother and daughter sat side-by-side, wearing identical blue suits skip prison, the wrists bound in chains belly.
They each have apologized for their actions.
“I want to say that I am wrong,” Aimee said Michael Judge, his voice wavering. “I hurt three families and for that I am sorry.” She also apologized to his mother and “everyone that I gave up.”
Sheila Michael apologized to victims for any “excessive pain” caused his camouflage. “It was not my intention,” she said.
Her husband, Robert, had remained silent throughout the trial, muzzled by the gag of a judge.
The former Marine was in the Middle East working for the Ministry of Defence in the accident.
“I think if I was there in the country at the time, this would have never happened,” said the judge. “I can assure you.”
Robert Michael called his wife of 40 years, his “rock” and “best friend” and said what she did after the accident of nature.
“My daughter,” he said, “I love him, love him so much. And his actions after the accident, I cannot explain. All I can say it was not raised this way and it does not mean it – it does not mean being part of such a horrible accident. ”
J. Adams seemed moved by a man who was at the scene of the accident. James Neal has helped pull the Volkswagen Tracie Johnson of his dead daughter, Morgan, attach to the rear of the car.
Later, he consoled his older brother Morgan Johnson, Morris III, who was a passenger in a car driven by her father before the crash.
Neal told the judge that the boy is comforted him, saying, “his sister has disappeared and now he has an angel.”
Adams wiped away a tear when Neal said.
Later, when issuing his sentence, she said she believed that because it was Easter, the sky opened and immediately took all the children to heaven.
“And now,” Adams said, his voice wavering, “they are angels, like the young Morris said.”
Later, outside the courtroom, where Tracie Johnson asked what she thought of the sentence, she replied: “I am satisfied.”
Earlier, when she gave her testimony pre-sentencing in the courtroom, she said, was recalled by day of the accident by his physical pain and the absence of his daughter, Morgan.
Yet she said she was able to forgive Aimee and Sheila Michael.
“I harbor no hatred,” said Johnson, “and I just want the defendants to know that I pray for them.”
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