A man accused of trying to run over his mother-in-law has been acquitted of the felony charge after it was shown things could not have happened as claimed.
Ismael Velez Jr., 25, had charges against him dismissed by General Sessions Judge Bill Locke following a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon. He could have faced three to six years in prison had he been convicted on the charge of aggravated assault.
His charges came after his mother-in-law, Samantha Stevens, told the sheriff’s department she was nearly run over by Velez on Brandywine Street.
“She said that he was driving at a high rate of speed and intentionally swerved in her direction,” said sheriff’s investigator Aaron Roberts, noting the woman had to take evasive measures. “She had to jump out of the way of the speeding car to avoid being struck.”
However, according to defense attorney Ryan J. Moore, a closer examination of the evidence revealed things were not so cut and dry.
“The victim couldn’t say for sure what happened because her back was to him,” Moore revealed, noting his client took the stand and swore he did not swerve at his mother-in-law. “My client was simply trying to leave the area to avoid a confrontation with his mother-in-law.”
As for the eyewitness who reportedly signed a statement saying she witnessed the incident, Moore said her view of the alleged crime was not a good one.
“The witness was several hundred yards away,” Moore said, noting the witness, who was standing on Higdon Drive at the time had to be at least “three football fields” away from where the alleged incident happened. Moore presented a sketch of the scene to the court, pointing out there were several houses in between where the incident happened and where the witness was standing.
After hearing the witnesses, Judge Locke opted to dismiss the charges against Velez for lack of evidence.