ALBANY, Ga. — The attorney for an Albany woman who was injured when a golf cart that authiorities say was driven by a Westover High School guidance counselor ran into her during a 2010 Halloween party confirmed Monday that he has written a letter to the Dougherty Judicial Circuit district attorney’s office on his client’s behalf, saying she would not be opposed to a sentence that excluded jail time.
Jimmie Brown, a partner in the Albany Brown & Scoccimaro firm, said his letter on behalf of Christal Potter addressed possible sentencing for Catherine Knight Chandler, who was charged with drunken driving, reckless driving and serious injury in an Oct. 30 incident that left Potter with a broken leg and a fractured kneecap. Chandler has not been tried on the charges.
“I represented Ms. Potter in a civil matter (related to the case) that was confidentially resolved,” Brown said. “I don’t think I would be violating anything by confirming that I sent a letter on Ms. Potter’s behalf to the district attorney’s office sharing her thoughts on the matter.
“She wanted to give a heads up to convey to the district attorney’s office that she would be OK with sentencing that did not include jail time for Ms. Chandler. Sometimes prosecutors see themselves as protectors of victims in a case like this, and Ms. Potter wanted (the district attorney) to know that, as the victim, she would be OK with whatever sentence they handed out — even one with no jail time — and would not complain to the press if such a sentence is given.”
District Attorney Greg Edwards and Chief Assistant District Attorney Heather Lanier were both in court Monday and did not respond to messages seeking comment by press time.
Contacted by The Herald Monday, neither Chandler nor her attorney, Thomas Duck, would comment on the letter.
“I have no comment for you,” Chandler said. “There’s nothing new on this case; it’s not even on the calendar yet.”
Thomas, who had previously worked in the district attorney’s office before going into private practice, said he did not want to talk about any possible developments in the case.
“My client is facing criminal charges,” he said. “As far as I know, the case is still pending. I’m not inclined to discuss anything about the case in detail other than to point out that it’s still pending.”
Brown, who would not supply The Albany Herald with a copy of the letter he sent to Edwards’ office, said writing it was not a condition of the civil settlement.
“There is no animosity at this time between the Potters and the Chandlers, not that there ever was,” the attorney said. “Sometimes in criminal cases, emotions run high and there might appear to be animosity. There’s none here.
“My client just wanted the district attorney to know that she will be fine with whatever sentence his office decides to impose.”
Chandler, who was suspended from the Dougherty County School System without pay before returning to work on Dec. 16 of last year, is in her 19th year with the school system.