No bond in car attack case
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Mar 4, 2014, 16:19
HOPEWELL — A woman who is accused of driving a car into a crowd of people will remain in jail until trial after a judge denied bond.
A judge denied her bond on Feb. 19 in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and Satesha Ceria Brown, 24, will continue to serve time at Riverside Regional Jail, where she has been since the day of the incident on Dec. 26, 2013.
While in court on Wednesday afternoon, through her defense attorney, Paul Roskin, Linton decided to waive her right to a preliminary hearing and have her charges certified to Hopewell Circuit Court.
Linton is charged with six felony counts of hit and run. At the time of the incident in December of last year, witnesses said about 15 people were walking on Bolling Drive shortly before 2:30 p.m. when a silver Kia turned the corner off Gloucester Drive, 50 feet from the location of the witnesses, and gunned the engine.
To avoid being hit by the car, the group of people began to scatter in all different directions. The car swerved into several people as they lined up along a three-foot chain link fence. The car then turned around in a nearby driveway, drove away and parked behind a home about a block away in the 4000 block of Gloucester Drive.
The six victims of the hit-and-run that were sent to Southside Regional Medical Center ranged from ages 4 to 34 and two of the victims included a mother and her 4-year-old daughter.
At the time of incident, the Hopewell Police Department said speed and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the cause of the crash. The brother of the one of the victims said that his 15-year-old sister beat up Linton before the crash occurred.
Linton was arrested a short distance from the scene and taken to Riverside Regional Jail.
Police confirmed that the driver and some of the victims of the crash were involved in a physical altercation before the crash occurred.
The commonwealth, in an agreement with the defense, set aside the misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license. Judge Jacqueline Waymack also heard an argument for bond for Linton.
When appointed, Roskin told Judge Waymack he did not believe bond was appropriate for his client, but after spending more time with her and learning some of her medical history, he was asking for bond. He also said since those two months in custody his client had “calmed down.”
At the time of the incident in Hopewell, Linton was out on bond in Colonial Heights for which she is facing petit larceny charges. Part of the argument for her release on bond was to enroll in a dual track treatment program in Colonial Heights. Roskin explained to the court that this program was fairly new and unique to the area. He said this program is specific to those suffering from mental health issues, such as his client.
Roskin said the program includes intensive day reporting in which the offender undergoes mental health treatment, random drug testing and meetings in which the patient must attend.
Linton’s mother, Jennifer Tucker, of Hopewell, spoke at the bond hearing Wednesday to her daughter’s mental health condition. She told the court her daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, suffers from chronic depression and has been diagnosed as having short term memory loss problems.
“She needs that help,” Tucker said. “She’s not getting that help in jail.”
Tucker also told the court her daughter has two of her three children living with her, noting she wanted Linton to be able to be home with them, “She has no reason to be out of the house.”
“I believe I can help her,” Tucker said before she began crying.
Though Tucker pleaded for her daughter to be released into her custody, she said there has been an improvement since she has been at Riverside Regional Jail as they are monitoring her medication intake.
Though making a case for her daughter, Commonwealth Attorney Rick Newman remained skeptical of Linton’s release, such as making sure she stayed on her medication and did not get behind the wheel of another car. He also noted Linton has had failure to appear charges on her record as well.
Though Tucker told the court she works eight hours a day, she had friends and family who would come to the house daily to ensure Linton was cared for.
“I think at this point we should give her the opportunity to move into this program,” Roskin said. “She has nothing to gain by failing to show up for court.”
Despite the assurances from both Roskin and Linton’s mother, Newman kept his stance on the denial of bond.
“This is not a mere hit and run,” Newman said of the charges facing Linton, also telling the court she could have easily killed the bystanders at the scene. “... Maybe the best thing to do is see if she can even get into the program before we discuss bond. They may consider what she’s done and deny her.”
Judge Waymack spoke on the prior criminal history of Linton, who has faced a total of 12 prior convictions, which she said could be “considered extensive for someone her age.” The judge also noted Linton was off her medication at the time of the incident.
“It’s evidenced she has extensive family support as evidenced by the people here today,” Waymack said, glancing over at the crowd gathered in one corner of the courtroom. “She has a high risk of re-offending and the court’s opinion is she is a high risk of flight and a danger to the community.”
Judge Waymack denied bond for Linton and then told Roskin he can appeal the decision in Circuit Court. The charges facing Linton have been sent to Circuit Court where a date will be set for a grand jury to hear the charges.