Colorado Senator Suzanne Williams (Dem. Aurora) is being accused of an extraordinary act in Amarillo, Texas. Police allege that, after her 3-year-old grandson was ejected in a head-on accident, Williams placed him back into a seat in her SUV after the wreck.
Police allege that her two grandchildren were lying down in the back of the vehicle while Williams was driving. Her son was also ejected in the wreck.
The wreck resulted in the death of Brianna Gomez, a pregnant woman who was a passenger in the other vehicle. Doctors were unable to save her unborn son. Gomez and her husband were wearing seat belts and their two children were secured in safety seats.
Making matters worse for Williams, she is accused of drifting into oncoming traffic in her Honda CRV before colliding into the Gomez vehicle. Notably, Williams has called for stricter child child restraint laws in Colorado.
At a minimum, she is looking at a wrongful death action and could be charged with obstruction if the grand jury believes that she placed the child back in the seat to hide culpability. She could obviously argue that she was acting instinctively in putting the child back in the car. The question is whether Williams will seek the opportunity to speak to the grand jury. Usually defense lawyers strongly discourage clients from appearing before grand juries where they are not allowed defense counsel and the rules of evidence do not apply. However, in a defense based on motivation, she may not want to risk leaving the matter to the jurors — and the prosecutors.
Her Senate bio states:
Senator Suzanne Williams (South Aurora) is serving her second 4-year term in the State Senate after serving eight years in the Colorado House of Representatives. Senator Williams is the only registered American Indian state legislator in Colorado. Currently, she serves as the Democratic Caucus chair. Senator Williams worked for 22 years as a special education teacher in the Cherry Creek School District. She is a champion for children and Native American issues.