By Caleb Groves Jan. 30, 2024
[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated. We do make exceptions in high-profile cases or charges against public officials where exoneration is likely to be as widely publicized as the initial arrest]
On Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, a Cobb County magistrate judge set a bond for a Lithia Springs woman for first-degree vehicular homicide and three misdemeanors.
The woman was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving under the influence and failing to maintain her lane.
On July 27, 2023, the woman, 37, was driving under the influence of THC, in a Nissan Altima, on the wrong side of Fontaine Road. She crashed into Baraa Abdulmonem, 22, who was hospitalized at Wellstar Cobb Hospital and eventually died.
In these cases, a bond must be set after 90 days of being held in custody if there is no indictment or bail. The woman had been in jail for 92 days as of Jan. 30, 2024.
Dameon Mitchell, the Lithia Springs woman’s defense attorney, negotiated to set bond at $60,000.
However, the family of the victim opposed bond.
But the Assistant District Attorney proposed a bond of $100,000 alongside a temporary license suspension and restricting contact from the victim’s family, in part due to the case still being under investigation.
Judge McLaughlin set the bond at $70,000, restricted contact from the victim’s family and chose not to suspend the woman’s license due to her clean criminal record and relatively minor driving offenses. The only things on the woman’s driving record were from 2023, 2013, 2012 and 2010.
“I’m not strict with driving. However, your life is under the proverbial microscope,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said many 37-year-olds with a criminal record have 30 or more cycles of arrest by now.
“Undoubtedly, this is a tragic event that occurred,” McLaughlin said.
Caleb Groves is a Journalism student at Kennesaw State University, where he is a junior.
Originally from Minnesota, Caleb moved to Georgia with his family, where he now lives in Woodstock with his Father, Stepmom and numerous pets.
When he is not in writing, in class or coaching rock climbing, he spends his time listening to music and rock climbing both indoors and out