Friday Sep 05 2008
Hit and run case delayed
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Prosecution, defense aiming for January trial
The case involving a Folsom woman accused of causing the death of a 15-year-old Granite Bay teen was continued until December. Anna Berset, 50, is charged with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident in the June 13, 2007 death of Courtney Parker. Prosecutor Jeff Wilson expressed his frustration at the defense’s request to further continue the case. “They could’ve gotten this together sooner,” Wilson said in court Friday morning. “They are prolonging the agony of the defendant that sits behind me.” Wilson was referring to Courtney’s mother, who was seated in the first row of the courtroom along with two friends. All three were wearing T-shirts with messages about or images of Courtney. Wilson further asked Judge Colleen Nichols for the soonest possible trial date next year. Nichols granted the defense’s request for continuance because the defense’s investigator is recuperating from a heart attack he suffered three weeks ago. But she acknowledged the difficulty this has created for the victim’s family. Outside of the courtroom, Nancy Parker, Courtney’s mother, expressed her family’s frustration at the delay. “We can’t get our lives together until this is over,” Parker said. She added that Courtney remains at the forefront of many of her family’s and friend’s thoughts. Courtney’s friends still leave messages on her Web page, and Parker still leaves Courtney’s phone on to hear her daughter’s voice on voice mail. “I still say goodnight to her every night,” Parker said. In June 2007, witnesses reported that Courtney was with friends at a Taco Bell on the corner of Auburn-Folsom Road and Douglas Boulevard. The group left the restaurant and was walking northbound on Auburn-Folsom when Courtney said she needed to return to the restaurant to retrieve her cell phone. She was walking back with a friend when she was struck by a black sport utility vehicle that fled the scene. Courtney was declared brain dead following the accident and died two days later. Berset was driving on Auburn-Folsom Road just north of Douglas Boulevard when the collision occurred. She reportedly called the California Highway Patrol the following day to report that she may have hit Courtney the night before. Outside of the courtroom Friday, Berset’s defense attorney Craig Leri acknowledged that the delays in the case were frustrating. He said his investigator’s health issues delayed the process of preparing experts and witnesses for the case. He said in his client’s defense, on the night of the accident there were teens throwing objects at cars. “At that particular location there were a number of vehicles hit by things being thrown,” Leri said. He also stated that his client was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. A trial-confirming conference is set for 8:30 a.m. Dec.4 in Dept. 13. A trial assignment conference is set for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 9 in Dept. 44. Prior Journal articles contributed to this report. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.