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Flint woman convicted of murder for striking her child's father with car

Originally published by Mlive.com on November 14, 2013

FLINT, MI -- Jurors have convicted a Flint woman after prosecutors claimed she fatally struck her child's father with her car.

Ladora Chantell Snell, 28, of Flint, was found guilty Tuesday, Nov. 12, of second-degree murder after a seven-day trial in which authorities accused her of killing 24-year-old Mack Hill Parrish during an argument. Second-degree murder carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison. She was initially charged with open murder.

"This was not an easy case but, I am pleased with the verdict of second-degree murder," Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in a statement. "Special Assistant Attorney General Barney Whitesman and Flint Police Sgt. Jason Cate and others did an excellent job in preparing the case and presenting it to the jury."

Police responded to a pedestrian personal injury accident reported around 9:30 p.m. Sept. 29, 2012, in the 6900 block of Yorkshire and found that Parrish had been run over by a vehicle.

Prosecutors argued that Snell and Parrish were involved in an argument when Snell got into her car, backed up, directed the vehicle at Parrish and then accelerated. After striking Parrish, Snell paused for a moment and then ran over his body, according to prosecutors.

Snell then went inside the house, grabbed her child, got back into her car and left the scene. Evidence at trial indicated that Snell called several people on her phone after the incident but never called 911. Police say that Snell later turned herself in.

Parrish was transported to Hurley Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. He died days later at the hospital.

Snell's attorney, Jeffrey Clothier, argued that Snell was acting in self-defense at the time of the killing.

"I completely think that the criminal justice system failed Ladora Snell," said Clothier.

Clothier claimed that Snell dropped off her child at the child's grandmother's house -- where Parrish was -- earlier in the day of the killing. Clothier said Snell returned to the house to pick up the child when she received an inadvertent phone call from the grandmother where she could hear fighting in the background.

Snell went to the house and was assaulted by Parrish, Clothier claimed. She fled to her car to contact police but Parrish pursued and jumped on the car. Snell then struck him with the vehicle.

Clothier said Snell plans to appeal the case after Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut did not allow jury instructions on self-defense to be included in the case. 

"This was no accident as the defense suggested," said Whitesman." The defendant had a history of physical aggressiveness."

Snell's sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3.


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