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Bicycle Accident Defendant Appeals Court's Decision

January 3, 2012

It's not over, according to Robbie Norton, who was convicted in November of 2011 of using negligence and striking Starkville resident Jan Morgan while Morgan was cycling with her friend one morning on Highway 50 West in Clay County.
Norton came before Clay County Justice Court Judge Joe Taggart on Nov. 17 and though she gave no remarks on whether or not she was negligent when Morgan was hit by Norton's car that day, she did listen to testimonies of witnesses and the testimony of Morgan who underwent extensive hospital treatment for the injuries she sustained.
Norton's conviction in Justice Court carried a fine of only $50 for the charge of misdemeanor simple assault, but still Norton and her attorney Marty Haub feel there is no evidence that reveals Norton actually committed an act of negligence and simple assault. Haub said during the trial in November that there's no evidence of disregard to human life.
“All we have here is a traffic accident, a terrible accident with horrible injuries, yes, but an accident nonetheless,” Haub said. “It's regrettable, but punishing someone criminally for a traffic accident is not lawful.”
Norton filed her appeal in December in Clay County Circuit Court, requesting a new trial, and the trial has been set for April 2.
Morgan said Taggart's decision helps bring her some closure to the horrible accident she lived through, but with the case headed back to court Morgan may have to face Norton for a second time and let a jury decide whether or not Norton is guilty of an assault against Morgan.

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