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Judge sets $150K bond for Raleigh mom charged in son's SUV death

Posted November 20, 2014

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— A judge on Thursday increased the bond for a woman whose 12-year-old son died last month when, Raleigh police say, she crashed her Chevrolet Suburban into a tree while traveling at a speed of 74 mph.

Wake County District Judge Jacqueline Brewer raised Laura Lynne Smith's bond from $60,000 to $150,000 during a first court appearance on charges of felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired.

If convicted, Smith could face up to 20 years in prison on both charges.

Smith, 49, of 8617 Wellsley Way, was arrested Wednesday after more than a month in a local hospital, where she was treated for injuries she received in the Oct. 13 wreck on Creedmoor Road.

Authorities say Anthony Smith was killed when, around 3:45 p.m., his mother lost control of her SUV and ran off the road before coming to a rest against a tree.

Her blood-alcohol content, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Matt Lively said Thursday, was 0.34 – four times the level at which a driver is considered impaired under North Carolina law.

Raleigh attorney Roger Smith Jr., who is not related, had tried to get bond reduced, telling Brewer that Laura Smith – who appeared with casts on both her arms – isn't a flight risk and still needs around-the-clock medical care.

Authorities have declined to comment on the investigation, and Roger Smith would only say Laura Smith was devastated by what has happened.

"What you have here is beyond tragic," he said. "It's unimaginable."


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  • jimcricket15 Nov 21, 2014

    really only 150K? Guess a human life does not have much value.

  • sinenomine Nov 21, 2014

    A person's bond is not meant to be punitive. It is meant to be in an amount calculated to ensure the accused's appearance in court at all later stages of the proceeding.

    I have known Judge Brewer for many years. Prior to becoming a judge she had been an extremely able Assistant District Attorney for a long time, probably a couple of decades I would guess.

    If Judge Brewer believes the bond on this defendant to be reasonable I am apt to believe that it is reasonable.

  • Angie Cox Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    Wow! our system is a total JOKE!

  • LocalYokel Nov 21, 2014

    $150k would be acceptable if she was simply accused of going 15 MPH over the speed limit, sober, wrecked and no one died.

    She is accused of killing someone (which should be felony), driving while intoxicated at 4X the limit, and speeding 29 MPH over the speed limit. Bond would be 7 figures in a legitimate justice system.

  • miseem Nov 20, 2014

    I'm sure she is devastated by what she did. That does not mean she should get a pass on punishment, including an active prison sentence, from the legal system.

  • Naysayer Nov 20, 2014

    Way too low.