This week a little justice (albeit late) has been made after a Texas judge decided to set aside a conviction for a woman after she pleaded guilty to an accident she though she caused.
The woman pleaded guilty in the trial that followed a fatal crash that killed her fiancé – she though she caused the deadly accident but it was later found that actually the fault lied in the defective ignition switch of the GM car she drove. Van Zandt County District Judge Teresa Drum allowed a petition to pass that called for Candice Anderson to vacate her conviction for criminally negligent homicide, according to her lawyer, Robert Hilliard. Back in 2004, she was at the wheel of a 2004 Saturn Ion in East Texas and had her fiancé, Gene Mikale Erickson, as a passenger when the car left the road and plunged into a grove of trees. The man was killed, as the airbags didn’t deploy – with local prosecutors concluding that the driver, Anderson was at fault. She agreed back in 2007 to plea guilty in a deal that saw her for five years under community supervision, also paying a $2,500 fine and restitution for Erickson’s funeral costs.
After GM started in February a recall of 2.6 million autos over faulty ignition switches, Anderson’s crash was later identified as one of the 13 deaths initially linked to the problem. The defective switch can cause an engine stall while driving, cutting power to key safety systems, including the power steering, power brakes and the airbags.