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DeKalb District Attorney asks judge to set trial date for driver who killed 5-year-old in 2018

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DeKalb District Attorney asks judge to set trial date for driver who killed 5-year-old in 2018

Michelle Wierson. Photo provided by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA — It has been four years since Michelle Wierson caused the death of 5-year-old Miles Jenness.

Her case has yet to go to trial. Wierson’s prior attorney argued she was “in the throes of a psychotic break” on Sept. 27, 2018, when she slammed into two vehicles with her Volkswagen on Midway Road at South Candler Street in Decatur. The crash fatally injured Jenness, a Winnona Park Elementary student. Wierson has pleaded not guilty because of her mental state at the time of the crash.

The DeKalb County District Attorney wants a judge to set the case for trial as early as March after Wierson’s defense attorney signaled he may not be available to represent his client for most of 2023.

“On May 19, 2021, a plea offer was relayed to the Defense; it was rejected on July 12, 2021,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Geller wrote in a motion filed Nov. 16. “Since that time, on multiple occasions, the state has requested a specially set trial date. The anticipated length of this trial is two weeks. There will be multiple medical professionals testifying in this case for both the State and the Defense. Coordinating their schedules will be difficult, if it is not done far in advance. Additionally, the victim’s family lives both locally and across the country and wish to attend the trial. Many of these individuals are working professionals and need advance notice to take off work for up to two weeks.

“Lastly, and most concerning, counsel for the defendant, Robert Rubin, sent an email to the State (see attached email, dated 10/7/22) indicating that he may be unavailable to appear for this trial for most of 2023.”

Rubin, in an email to the District Attorney, says he’s representing a defendant in a 28-defendant case in Fulton County. He encouraged the DeKalb District Attorney to reconsider a plea deal for Wierson.

“I know that we were anticipating that the Wierson case might be tried in April, but I haven’t heard anything from Judge Johnson’s court,” Rubin wrote. “Now might be a good time to rethink ways to resolve the case. If you were able to find a prosecution expert on criminal responsibility, please let us know so we can discuss the opinion with Dr. Wierson. If you were not able to find an expert, I would hope your position on a plea would be flexible enough to warrant further discussion.”

If Wierson is found not guilty due to her mental illness, she would be committed to a state mental facility and the term of her confinement there could be longer than the amount of time she would spend in prison, according to a defense attorney unaffiliated with the case. Wierson could also be found guilty and sentenced to prison.

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