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Shop owner fails to withdraw guilty plea in car accident case

A shop owner from Aurora originally pleaded guilty to selling synthetic marijuana to a teenage driver. She recently tried to withdraw that plea, but it did not pan out the way she’d hoped.

The alleged crime is more serious than a mere sale. That teen got in his car, drove off the road and slammed into a house. The people who owned the home were there, but they were in the backyard. The 19-year-old behind the wheel was killed.

He had smoked the synthetic marijuana just hours prior to the wreck. The prosecution stressed that they believed that the crash had been more than a mere traffic accident.

During the trial, the lawyer for the shop owner said that the woman wanted to withdraw the plea she’d made. The judge wouldn’t allow it, noting that the proper step would be to create a written petition and file it with the court. The request could not be made verbally.

The lawyer kept begging as the shop owner cried, asking the judge to withdraw the plea. This went on even when the judge told the lawyer to sit down, and eventually the judge had to take two breaks to put an end to the whole thing.

The woman owns a shop called Cigar Box. If convicted, she could be forced to pay $250,000 and spend as much as five years behind bars.

This case illustrates why it’s so important to know all of your legal options in court. It also shows how car accidents may be linked to those who are nowhere near the wreck itself.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Aurora shop owner who sold synthetic pot before fatal crash tries to withdraw guilty plea,” Hannah Leone, Nov. 16, 2017