A Plattsmouth, Nebraska teenager is facing charges of motor vehicle homicide in an accident last January that claimed the life of a passenger. Taylor Hughes was 17 years old when prosecutors say she failed to yield to a vehicle and her SUV was hit by a minivan in Sarpy County. The passenger was Hughes’ 7 year old sister, Maddie.
Sarpy County Prosecutor Lee Polikov says Hughes is charged in juvenile court which is a civil, not criminal process. He says no kids are sent to jail or fined and it is more about rehabilitation.
Polikov says he has received a lot of criticism about pressing charges in cases like this. He says, “When I apply the law I have to apply it fairly to everybody. Rich – poor, black – white, 17 or 70. I don’t deal in suffering. Some people think I do but I have to put the case before the court that is neutral and objective. Actually it is the court that considers punishment.”
Polikov says this process is not about punishment but rehabilitation. He says if the court takes jurisdiction, they proceed through a program they feel appropriate and when that is finished in a year that record is sealed. The court could require counseling to community service.
Taylor Hughes’ pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 30th.