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LANCASTER, Calif. – A Los Angeles woman who was mowed down along with her 8-month-old baby by a teen in a stolen car during a hit-and-run blasted Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon over the suspect’s light punishment on Wednesday during an early release hearing.
The woman, who has asked only to be identified as Rachel, said she doesn’t believe the teen suspect has been rehabilitated in the five months since he was sent to a juvenile probation camp.
“Nobody in the room actually believes that (the suspect) is a good kid,” she said via a conference call into a Los Angeles County courtroom in Lancaster, California. “Look at what he did. Nobody changes who they are to the core in four months.”
Judge Mario Barrera on Wednesday said more evidence was needed before he decides whether to grant the teen’s early release request.
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Prosecutors argued the teen, who is not being named because he is a minor, has been involved in 14 fights and has been written up for allegations of misconduct, disobedience, destructive language and defiance of authority. However, some probation reports also praised his behavior.
Barrera continued the proceedings and ordered the court to request incident reports detailing all the infractions involving the suspect during his time in the probation camp.
During his testimony, county probation officer Charles Wilson was questioned by prosecutor Shea Sanna over the reports, including one summary that said the teen’s “tone and disposition toward authority has improved.”
Wilson could not give specifics of how the teen had improved his behavior, but said he had begun taking responsibility by admitting he had been fighting and involved in other incidents. Sanna pointed out the teen got into a fight during his second day at the camp, followed by more physical altercations in the weeks thereafter.
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The incident that got him sentenced to five-to-seven months in the camp occurred last year.
Surveillance video captured the moment the teen driver veered into Rachel, on Aug. 6, 2021 during a hit-and-run in the Venice neighborhood. The child was not seriously harmed, but photos showed a tire-tread-shaped bruise on the back of his scalp.
The teen driver to flee the scene before a good Samaritan in a pickup truck rammed him off the road.
Rachel previously told Fox News Digital that she suffered severe cuts on her arms, hands and shoulder and slipped three discs in her back as a result of the hit, which sent her rolling over the hood of the car.
The teen didn’t have a driver’s license at the time of the crime and was already on probation for a prior offense, felony poisoning after allegedly spiking a high school girl’s drink. The incident has left Rachel scared of her neighborhood and prompted her family to sell their home and leave Los Angeles, she said Wednesday.
“I hate where I live because it’s a constant reminder every time I leave my house of what happened to us,” she said. We have sold our home and will be leaving LA at the end of November, so I would like to ask that he remain in camp at least until then. I will fear for my life every day that I am in LA if I know he is at home.”
LOS ANGELES WRONG-WAY HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO PLOWED INTO MOM AND BABY IN STOLEN CAR WANTS EARLY RELEASE
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Despite his prior offenses, the office of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon sought the five- to seven-month sentence in juvenile probation camp. The move was in line with Gascon’s progressive criminal justice policies that treat underage suspects with less severity.
At the time, he described it as less severe than military school but harsher than summer camp.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Gascon’s office.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.