By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – After reviewing additional evidence in a May 22 car-on-bicycle crash, District Attorney Forrest Allgood affirmed his original position that no felony was committed.
“I have read the transcripts of the digital recordings, and it’s the same set of facts,” Allgood told the Daily Journal on Wednesday. “There was a little differing (information) in there, but it’s nothing that changes my opinion.”
Allgood had agreed to reexamine the case and have his team personally interview witnesses after his initial assessment spurred public outcry. He had said no felony charges applied to the motorist who hit a bicyclist and then ran her over a second time.
A felony is possible under only three circumstances, Allgood said: Leaving the scene of an accident that caused injuries; aggravated DUI; aggravated assault. None, he said, apply in this case.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol, which handled the accident and holds the authority to file charges, has been relying on Allgood’s expertise in this matter.
“At this point we do concur with the DA’s office as far as the felonies,” said MHP spokesman Brian Mobley. “As far as any misdemeanors, though, we’re still looking into it. The case isn’t closed at this point.”
The crash occurred midmorning on an open stretch of Highway 50 in Clay County. Motorist Robbie Norton of Cedar Bluff ran into cyclist Jan Morgan of Starkville as Morgan pedaled with a friend along the right side of the road.
After stopping and briefly exiting her vehicle, Norton then got back in and ran over Morgan a second time in an apparent effort to pull her vehicle to the side of the road.
Morgan was in an induced coma for a month at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She’s now receiving rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
Her family’s attorney, Brace Knox of Starkville, said she’s thankful Allgood reviewed the case and will not second guess his opinion.
A civil suit against Norton is unlikely, she said, because her assets would not put a significant dent in Morgan’s medical bills.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or email@example.com.