This past Thursday, December 11, 2014, jurors decided the fate of Margaret Meyer, a 35 year old Houston woman accused of hitting cyclist Chelsea Norman with her truck almost a year ago. After running over Norman, Meyer failed to stop and render aid. Instead Meyer fled the scene, leaving Norman helpless in the road. Norman died from her injuries sustained in the accident, specifically head trauma and swelling of her brain. According to Meyer’s testimony, she believed she had struck a tree branch and not a person.
It took the jury only 40 minutes to convict Meyer for the death of Norman. Meyer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. Meyer was facing a range of punishment from probation to a maximum of 20 years in prison. The defense attempted to use the fact that Norman was not riding in a bike lane as a mitigating factor as to why Meyer struck her. Defense attorney Guy Womack said this in his closing argument, “If Chelsea Norman had been riding in the bicycle lane she would not have been hit… but she wasn’t.”
The strategy employed by the defense ultimately did not work to Meyer’s favor. Instead it was the fact that Meyer did not stop and render aid along with the testimony of Norman’s family which helped the jury reach their verdict. Prosecutor Alison Baimbridge had this message to the jury, “She doesn’t want to know the truth because the truth is bad and the truth hurts and the truth is about to send her to prison.”