Angelina Everett Sentenced to 90 Days in JailNovember 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Bike News | 3 Comments
The third, and now final, Ed Magos Ride for Justice rode yesterday from East Hollywood to the Superior Courthouse to witness Angelina Everett’s sentencing. After the grueling testimony last week I was curious to see how this would turn out. First, the prosecutor played the 911 tapes from the day, which we had not heard last week because we ran out of time. This included the Good Samaritan at the scene describing Magos’ injuries, and Everett calling in an hour and 20 minutes later, claiming that she left to look for somewhere to park and didn’t know what to do now. The operator told her that leaving the scene of an accident is a felony, and that she needed to turn herself in immediately, at which point Everett started crying and asked if she was going to go to jail. The operator was sympathetic and told her that she had once hit someone with her car(!) and didn’t go to jail. There was then a debate among the emergency operators (one commented “Lord have mercy”) on where exactly she should go, since Magos was already in the hospital. They ended up having her turn herself in at a police station.
At this point the actual haggling over the sentence began. The judge Elaine Mandel starting out by saying that in light of the seriousness of the misdemeanor, Everett was looking at “serious jail time”. This was a surprise to most of us in the courtroom, given the past history of hit and run judgments. I think that the press attention in this case made a big difference. LACBC worked diligently to make sure that this case got the press attention it deserved, starting with the first Ride For Justice back in February when we demanded that the city press charges in this case. Yesterday there was an LA Times reporter taking notes in the audience (who later wrote this great article on the subject), and an LA Times photographer had been removed from the court for having his camera with him. Thus the judge was well aware that others were paying attention to this case.
Mandel gave Everett a choice of 60 days contiguous city jail or 90 days non-contiguous, so that she could go to work during the week and jail on the weekends. Everett opted for the latter. She was also sentenced to 30 days community labor and significant restitution to Magos for medical bills and lost work. There will be one more hearing about her ability to pay the restitution and attorney’s fees.
Some would call this a ‘victory’ for the bike community, but we left the court room feeling more sad for everyone involved. Even if you think she ‘deserves’ it, it’s tough to see someone sentenced to jail time. There were few dry eyes in the court room by the end of the hearing. Hopefully other drivers (and judges!) will get the message that hit and runs are serious crimes that can and do carry jail penalties.