Jury trials start Monday in Dade County Superior Court, and shortlisted for trial are a couple of higher-profile cases lingering from last year.
One of those is the homicide-by-vehicle case of Gustavo Pagan Rodriguez. Truck driver Rodriguez was originally also charged with DUI when the semi he was driving crossed the I-59 median and killed the driver of another 18-wheeler headed in the opposite direction. The accident happened last November, one of the eerie string of interstate
fatalities that shook Dade County just before Thanksgiving.
The DUI charges were dropped earlier this year when his toxin screen came back clean, but Rodriguez was still listed as an inmate in the Dade jail at calendar call for this court session two weeks ago.
Also listed for trial next week is Amanda Pardue, the Dade
substitute teacher accused of improper internet contact with underage boys. The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit court calendar lists the charge she faces tersely as "computer crimes." The Superior Court Clerk docket states more specifically "use computer service to seduce, solicit, lure or entice"--legalese, apparently, for sending nude pictures of herself to multiple young male teens. Her trial has been delayed twice. She was listed as 35 years old when she was arrested last fall.
These two bigger headliners share the docket next week with eight other felony cases ranging from the ubiquitous drug charges to assault, stalking and DUI. Some of those will typically drop from the list as the defendants negotiate pleas with prosecutors. Court personnel cannot say in advance which trials will go forward first. The Planet with faithfully report on developments.