By Kent Faulk
A grand jury will review the case of a Mountain Brook woman charged with assault and leaving the scene of an accident after striking a construction worker in February with her SUV.
Jefferson County District Court Judge Katrina Ross sent the case to the grand jury last week after an attorney for 26-year-old Amanda Brown waived a preliminary hearing, which had been set for Tuesday, in the case.
"Preliminary hearings serve a very limited purpose in most instances. They are simply probable cause hearings," said Brown's attorney, Tommy Spina. "These days defense lawyers and prosecutors are sometimes able to work through the process in a way that facilitates the exchange of evidence as required by the rules of criminal procedure and proceed to the presentation of the case to the Grand Jury."
"In this case based on the circumstances we elected to waive our right to a preliminary hearing," Spina stated in an email to AL.com.
Brown is charged with first-degree assault and leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid in the Feb. 25 crash that severely injured Bobby Joe Smith, 48, of Munford, known to his friends as Rusty. Driving under the influence is an element of the assault charge.
Smith was injured when Brown hit him in her GMC Yukon while on her way home from a wedding with friends, pinning Smith between her SUV's bumper and a bulldozer, police said. The crash happened in the 2600 block of Lane Park Road. Smith lost his right foot, and was in danger of losing his left leg after the crash.
Witnesses told officers that after the wreck, Brown attempted to drive away. She then got out of the vehicle and walked to her apartment which wasn't too far from the accident scene. She admitted to police that she was under the influence when the crash happened, police said.
Brown is out on bond pending disposition of her case.
Updated at 6:15 a.m. June 16 to clarify that the leaving the scene charge is a felony, not a misdemeanor