A Georgia mom wants to know who is responsible for the hit-and-run that left her 9 year old daughter in the hospital. There is surveillance footage of the driver hitting the girl and fleeing the scene. There is no doubt in my mind this individual will get caught. I break it down on HLN with Shyann Malone.
Georgia mother of hit-and-run victim wants justice
April 6th, 2019
Shyann Malone: A Georgia mom wants to know who’s responsible for the hit and run that’s left her nine-year-old baby girl in the hospital. LaDerihanna Holmes condition has been upgraded from critical to stable condition, so that’s good news there according to the family. But she has a fractured skull and broken pelvis and she will now have to learn how to walk all over again. Police are trying to find the person behind the wheel of this vehicle speeding into the home in the front yard, she was out there playing with a friend when this happened. This whole thing caught on video near Atlanta on Friday. Now investigators say they have good leads on a suspect but so far no one has been arrested in this. Earlier, mom Charlotte Bolton, talked about hearing the crash.
Charlotte Bolton: I screamed my baby, because I knew she was on the porch. I ran down, a lady was had got my Baby from between the car and my house, and placed her and her friend on the ground, and she was lifeless. I was screaming, my twelve-year-old son and another gentleman start doing CPR on her, and that’s when I started working on her. I felt a heartbeat.
Shyann Malone: Bob Bianchi is a former Prosecutor and a host with Law and Crime Network, he joins us now via Skype. Good morning Bob, you know, obviously having your heart hurts for that mother having to relive these moments, do you think that surveillance video was, it is pretty good, is it good enough though to catch the bad guys?
Robert Bianchi: Good morning Shyann, well, first off this has special impact on me, my mom was hit by a hit and run, drunk driver when she was eighteen, pronounced dead, broke her pelvis and scull and lived a life time. Thank god she survived but lived a lifetime of pain and suffering having learned walk again just like this little girl. So, to answer your question directly, I believe the police are going to have copious amounts of evidence, this surveillance video is important it’s going to get out to the public. There will be completely people will be a calling in there but most importantly is the vehicle itself. It’s very hard to be involved in a collision like that without leaving DNA behind fingerprint evidence, so when you combine the public outcry here, the video surveillance, that kind of leads to a partial identification with regard to the evidence that undoubtedly was left inside the vehicle. The police and Prosecutors are going to have a lot of leads, a lot of investigative leads it’s no question my mind these individuals will get caught.
Shyann Malone: And you see, you know, in the video two people running, is the passenger just as guilty here?
Robert Bianchi: You know I that’s a good question but my instinct is to say no, in Georgia I looked up their law there is an actual affirmative requirement for the driver of the vehicle to stop and render aid, that’s a little unusual the idea of rendering aid. So, it’s not just stopping but by rendering aid, but that only applies to the driver, to the passenger in the vehicle I think that that individual is going to have a defense because they weren’t in fact driving the vehicle at least as we know right now did not contribute to the accident. So, they kind of were really only a bystander if you will that left the scene of an accident, there is no affirmative obligation, in my mind, for somebody who did not cause the accident to stop and render aid.
Shyann Malone: Wow, well, if the suspect is caught, could consequences be worse because the driver ran away?
Robert Bianchi: That’s great question, Shyann, because it did get right into the heart of what was what I did when I was a Prosecutor, when I was leading an agency, if I were to look at a hit and run, whether it was a DUI or some other reason, a person stopped tried to do the right thing, rendered aid, contacted emergency services. I see that case one way not there would be punishment but what I see on top of that that they saw a little girl that they believe that you know was dead or seriously injured and they ran away from the scene, that’s the kind of case we call a aggravating factor that will cause me to look for the maximum sentence on this. Because I, as a Prosecutor, would feel I need to send a message, you get into an accident like this especially when you’re talking about a kid, but for anybody for that matter and you don’t stay there pursuant to the law, you don’t attempt to render aid or call 911, then you are going to pay the consequences with a lengthy stay prison sentence.
Shyann Malone: In cases you reviewed, do you feel like as video like this is played over and over again and those, you know, people running, would the guilt eventually set in or maybe someone nearby that knows something or heard something about this maybe they would come forward?
Robert Bianchi: One of the problems that you have Shyann, another great question, is that a lot of people kind of don’t want to get involved and they kind of, do you remember the old Kitty Genovese case, they kind of look at like, well somebody else will call and somebody else, you know, will be the person will report this. No, you need to do that whether or not five people do it or ten people do it. If you know something about it you need to get out there and do it, to report it. To the second part of your question, it’s been my experience the people don’t have an overwhelming sense of guilt to decide to come forward but as a defense lawyer now, if somebody were to come to me and said, I was the person involved in this. You know, you’re in a difficult position there because you don’t know where the police have enough evidence but certainly if you turn yourself in afterwards, while you’re locking yourself into the idea that you did this, the Prosecutor may show some level of mercy on you with regard to the fact that at least you came to your senses and came forward. But I’m sure that most of the great defense lawyers would say don’t do anything because we don’t know if the police have enough information even to identify you as the driver.
Shyann Malone: Great information, Bob Bianchi, thank you so much.