01-17-2012, 11:50 AM #1
OH - Charles Kho, 13, killed in hit & run, Olmsted Falls, 17 Oct 2011
An 80-year-old woman has been charged with the hit-skip accident that killed a 13-year old boy, out delivering invitations to his upcoming birthday party. She later tried to get her car damage fixed, but didn't want to alert her insurance, which tipped the office manager off at the body shop. The office manager contacted police, which lead to the woman's arrest.
80-year-old Olmsted Falls woman arraigned in hit-skip death of 13-year-old boy
Posted: 10:30 AM
By: Scott Newell, newsnet5.com By: Scott Newell, newsnet5.com
CLEVELAND - An 80-year-old Olmsted Falls woman has pleaded not guilty in the death of a 13-year-old Olmsted Township boy by a hit-skip driver.
Helen Fettes appeared before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Clancy Tuesday morning. Fettes let her attorney plead for her and didn't appear to say anything. Judge Clancy set bond at $10,000.
Dressed in a gray cardigan sweater over a burgundy turtleneck, Fettes walked unsteadily to the podium when her case was called.
She faces charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to stop after an accident and tampering with evidence.
On Oct. 17, police said 13-year-old Charles Kho Jr. was struck by a car while walking along Cook Road in Olmsted Township at about 7 p.m. He was with friends passing out invitations to his 13 th birthday party. The driver left the scene.
Kho was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day – on his birthday.
The medical examiner's office said Kho died from blunt force trauma to his head and the manner of his death was an accident.
Police immediately began searching for the driver, and were tipped off by Dina Hanrahan, who is the office manager at the Ganley Automotive Body Shop. She told police that Fettes brought her car in for body work. Hanrahan said she became suspicious because Fettes was acting strange and insisted on paying for the damage without reporting the accident to her insurer.
"Who doesn't call the police?" Hanrahan asked in a telephone interview with NewsChannel5. "When you wake up and your car is shattered? Why wouldn't you report that?"
Hanrahan said she's glad Fettes was not acting like herself because her vehicle may have gotten fixed.
"Had she come in there and not acted in that way? She probably would have gotten away with it," she said from her home in Middleburg Heights.
Officers towed the car from the body shop the next day. Police said Fettes had no criminal history and a clean driving record. She was arrested a short time after the crash, but was released to family due to medical reasons.
During a news conference in December, Kho’s teen sister, Callie, said the whole situation is still unreal to her, but she said she’s glad justice is still being served.
Kho's mother, Ali, said she is overwhelmed with sadness knowing her son will never see a life filled with all his dreams he had for his future. She said Charlie was well beyond his years, already planning on which high school he was going to attend and he was already saving for a car. She said his fun loving personality will be greatly missed, especially this new year holiday.
The Kho family said their faith will get them through this ordeal -- and they must keep pushing forward in Charlie's honor. The idea they will one day see Charlie in heaven again keeps their memory of him alive.
Olmsted Township police chief credited the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, his own department and Ganley auto body with making this arrest happen.
Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/loc...#ixzz1jjNb7O6F
What I don't understand is how she can plead "not guilty". Is she actually claiming that she didn't do this?
Last edited by oh_gal; 01-17-2012 at 11:52 AM. Reason: added link
01-17-2012, 03:07 PM #2Registered User
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01-17-2012, 04:10 PM #3
A long time ago, one of my criminal law profs said to think of the "not guilty" plea as the defense saying, basically, "prove it!".
Which is a good way of looking at it. We want the government to have to "prove it", otherwise any of us could land in prison on no evidence at all.
But yeah... I know what you mean. Sometimes you look at a case where they plead not guilty and say "uhm...why bother?" . At 80, if I were her, I think I'd surrender my license, plead no contest, and hope the judge would be lenient due to age/medical condition.
Poor little guy, right on his birthday. Thinking of his family.
Last edited by Gardenlady; 01-17-2012 at 04:39 PM.“Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all." -Abp Oscar Romero
01-17-2012, 04:29 PM #4Inactive
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- Jun 2011
What an "UNUSUAL PERSON"!!!!
01-17-2012, 06:46 PM #5
Of course, innocent people have pled not guilty, too. Every once in awhile, the prosecutor cannot prove a defendant is guilty simply because the defendant is actually not guilty!
In this case, she's probably made the plea to buy herself some time to explore her options......maybe hoping to get a plea deal or something.
01-17-2012, 07:59 PM #6
The way that I had this crap explained to me in school is to think of the entire years-long criminal justice process as an argument of sorts. A person is arrested for or charged with a crime. That's the system saying "You did this." The person enters a plea with a judge. If they plead guilty, they are saying, "Yeah, you are right, you caught me." If they plead no contest, they are saying, "Maybe I did, maybe I didn't, but you have enough evidence to make people think I did." If they plead not guilty, all they are saying is "No, I didn't do that." If they plead not guilty and it goes further into the system, the state will present their case, or yet another round of saying, "Yes, you did do it." and the defense will speak on the person's behalf, saying, "Oh, no I didn't."
It's no different than the person saying out loud, "I didn't do it." It's just official, on paper, and copied in triplicate when they enter it as an official plea.JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.
01-17-2012, 08:41 PM #7
I guess it just bothers me because she so obviously did do it...damage to the car is consistent with the accident, and her going to the body shop and acting weird (according to the lady there), and wanting to pay for the repairs in cash and not tell her insurance.
I guess the only other option (in my mind) is that she's mentally slipping, and has no idea she did this...OR...she's covering for someone who borrowed her car, in which case, she is not directly guilty, and that would explain her plea.
I have always had a problem understanding the whole "not guilty" plea, when it seems that someone is obviously guilty. (But thank you, Gardenlady, for the "prove it!" analogy...that helps!)
02-16-2016, 11:38 PM #8
From January 2013:
Helen Fettes, 81, apologized to the victim’s family in court Monday before her sentence was read.
It was October 17, 2011, on Cook Road in Olmsted Falls when she struck Charles Kho's son, also named Charles, as he was walking with friends...
Judge Hollie Gallagher sentenced the senior citizen to five years probation and house arrest. Her driving privileges are suspended for life, and she must pay the victim’s family $125,128.25 in restitution.
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