Mom of teen hit-and-run victim worries punishment won't fit crime
Posted November 26, 2012
Norlina, N.C. — The mother of a 15-year-old boy killed six months ago in a hit and run says she is worried that the punishment for the man who police say is responsible might not fit the crime.
Cody Flowers, 15, was returning home from a friend's house in Norlina on May 19, when a vehicle traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 1 crossed the center lane, struck him and didn't stop.
Flowers suffered several skull fractures and a broken right arm in the crash and was in a medically induced coma at Duke University Hospital in Durham for three days before dying.
Corey Champion, 28, of Raleigh, was arrested June 4 on charges of felony hit-and-run, misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and driving with license revoked.
Flowers' mother, Susan Walker, says she believes the charge of misdemeanor death by vehicle is not enough.
"I know that I'm a mother and that I have emotions involved, but there has to be some justice," she said Monday. "A child was killed."
A conviction on the charge carries a maximum penalty of several months in prison, while a conviction on a felony hit and run charge carries a maximum sentence of about three years.
"Something needs to be said," Walker said. "I'm trying to be respectful of the law and the case, but at some point, it's wrong."
A spokesman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that to charge Champion with felony death by vehicle would require proving he was driving under the influence the night Flowers was hit. But that's impossible, since Champion wasn't arrested until more than two weeks after the crash.
Attempts Monday to reach the Warren County District Attorney's Office and Champion's attorney were unsuccessful.
Champion, whose driving record includes a 2005 conviction for reckless driving and a 2008 conviction for driving while impaired, is due in court again next week.
Walker wants to see the person convicted of her son's death get as much jail time as possible.
She says she relives the memories of what happened to her son every day.
"He was a big brother, and he was my son, and he was my best friend, and he was my confidant," Walker said.