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Mom of Boy Killed By Driver Gets Probation

Aaron Newman, four, was killed on a Georgia road in April of last year by a hit and run driver. (ABC News)(ATLANTA) -- A single mom who was charged with vehicular homicide after her 4-year-old son was killed by a hit-and-run driver was sentenced Tuesday to a year's probation and community service.

Raquel Nelson, 30, was charged with vehicular homicide because she was not crossing the street at the crosswalk in Marietta, Ga., at the time of the accident last year.

Nelson faced up to three years in jail on the charges, but Judge Kathryn Tanksley instead gave her 12 months probation on each of two charges, vehicular homicide and failure to use the crosswalk, but combined the two counts into a year's probation.

In addition, she was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

In an unusual move, Tanksley also offered Nelson a new trial, telling her that if she is found innocent of the charges her record would be cleared.

The judge said she had received letters of support for Nelson from across the country, and the online group claims to have delivered 125,000 signatures on a petition in support of Nelson and to demand a crosswalk at the site of the accident.

Prosecutors told the court that they never intended to seek jail time for Nelson, and several characters witnesses spoke glowingly of the woman who volunteered at school events.

The driver of the car was given six months in jail for hitting Nelson, one of her daughters and her son Aaron Newman last year, and then fleeing the scene.

Nelson was originally charged with reckless conduct, improperly crossing a roadway and second-degree homicide by vehicle.

Jerry Guy, the man who hit the family and never stopped, reportedly admitted drinking "a little" alcohol earlier in the day. He also admitted to being on painkillers and being partially blind in one eye.

Guy had been convicted of two previous hit and run accidents. He pleaded guilty to the hit and run that took A.J.'s life and served six months in jail.

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