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  1. #1
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
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    Exclamation ‘McMissile’ lands mom in jail

    Driver gets felony conviction for tossing cup of ice into car
    By Theresa Vargas
    The Washington Post
    Updated: 5:14 a.m. ET Feb 18, 2007

    WASHINGTON - To the locals, it's the "McMissile" case.

    And like the name, the details of it spill forth like a bad joke: A woman is driving north on Interstate 95. Three kids squirm in the back seat, and her sister, six months pregnant and having early contractions, sits in the front. The stress starts to simmer. Traffic slows, then crawls, then creeps. More stress. A car cuts in front of her, then scoots away. A short time later, it darts in again. She can no longer take it. She veers onto the shoulder and speeds up. Wham! She tosses a large McDonald's cup filled with ice into the other car.

    "From my side, I heard a whoomp," recalled the woman's sister, LaJeanna Porter, 27. "I was like, 'I know you didn't throw that cup.' She said, 'Yes I did.' "

    Neither woman foresaw the seemingly supersize repercussions of that misguided moment July 2.

    No one was injured, but the cup launcher, Jessica Hall, 25, of Jacksonville, N.C., was charged and convicted by a Stafford County jury of maliciously throwing a missile into an occupied vehicle, a felony in Virginia. The instructions given to the jury said that "any physical object can be considered a missile. A missile can be propelled by any force, including throwing."

    Hall, a mother of three young children whose husband is serving his third tour in Iraq, has spent more than a month in jail.

    The jury sentenced her to two years in prison, the minimum, and a judge will formally impose a sentence Wednesday. Under state law, the judge can only decrease the jury's sentence.

    "We didn't think it would go this far," Hall said in an interview at the Rappahannock Regional Jail. "Two years! What did I do?"

    There are two versions of what happened that day. The occupants of both cars agree on this: It was hot, the kind of hot in which legs stick to leather seats, and the traffic was barely moving, slowed by a fatal crash up the road in Prince William County.

    In one car, driver Pete Ballin, 36, and girlfriend Eliza Fowle, 28, were heading home to the District after visiting her father in North Carolina. They said they were maneuvering through the stalled traffic, not even noticing Hall until the Mickey-D moment.


    "I guess we inadvertently merged back in front of her," Fowle said. "She apparently took that as some sort of aggressive maneuver on our part."

    The next thing they knew, Fowle said, Hall was pulling up in the emergency lane and "chucking a big, supersized McDonald's cup at us." It flew diagonally across Ballin and onto Fowle. "It was gross and sticky and got all over me and the front of our car, the dashboard and the windshield," Fowle said.

    Hall, whose family was driving from North Carolina to New York for a family party, saw the situation differently. She said she had never driven that route and was trying to keep up with her father's truck when Ballin cut in front of her the second time, causing her to swerve onto the shoulder. She said she was worried because her sister's bulging belly almost slammed into the dashboard.

    Hall's next move was wrong, she said, but she felt provoked.

    "It was past me ignoring him. I'm not going to lie; I was cursing him," she said. "I took the McDonald's cup. I tossed it over my car."


    She never fathomed that it would land her in jail for the first time in her life, wearing a standard-issue jumpsuit frayed up both legs and learning to curl her hair using toilet paper. Not even when she saw Ballin talking to the state trooper up the highway, or when she was arrested and released on her own recognizance, or even when a trial date was set for Jan. 3.

    Even when Ballin testified, Hall said, "I'm thinking about what I'm going to cook when I get home."

    "I passed out when they said guilty, two years," she added. "I became a convicted felon."

    Fowle stands by the couple's decision to report the crime but concedes that even she and Ballin were surprised at the conviction.

    "I think that this is way too much of a punishment for her actions. This is just to me absolutely ridiculous," Fowle said. Community service would have made more sense, she said. "It's something that's going to make someone realize I did screw up, and I'm going to remember this, and I'm not going to do something like this again."

    Hall's attorney, public defender Terence Patton, did not return calls for comment. Nor did Commonwealth's Attorney Daniel M. Chichester or Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney George Elsasser, who handled the case.

    Elsasser argued in court that had Ballin been hit by the drink, he might have gotten into a serious accident with injuries. Hall also was found guilty of reckless driving, assault against Ballin and assault and battery against Fowle. For her conviction on those charges, the jury recommended she be fined $1,000.

    According to court documents, Hall is unemployed and, with her husband's salary, the couple takes in $30,384 a year. She receives $388 a month in food stamps.

    "It doesn't seem right for her not to be around," said Porter, who is watching one of Hall's three children, ages 4, 6 and 8. The younger two are with their grandparents. "We just hope that whatever they do, don't let them keep her. Without her, I don't know what I'll do."

    Hall said she has cried every day she has spent locked up and wakes most days to find clumps of hair on her pillow from the stress. She shares a cell with two other women and spends 19 hours a day in the cell, she said.

    When Hall talks about the incident, she sometimes jokes about how she will only fly over Virginia from now on and says other inmates sometimes throw things in her direction and say, "Watch out McMissile."

    But in other moments, when she talks about the reality of a felony conviction, her expression goes blank. She was supposed to start nursing school the day after she was sent to jail, and she wonders what job she will be able to get once potential employers do a background check.

    "Now people are going to see me as an angry, road rage, convicted felon. And it really upsets me," she said. "I must have been wrong . . . but seriously, God. Lesson learned. Lesson learned is one hour in this place."


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  2. #2
    Star Man's Avatar
    Star Man is offline Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians
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    Makes me wonder wher the DA's head is in cases like this.... fuhkin stupid. Then some gang banger with a gun gets charges dropped in a 10x more serious case.......
    ...........................................

  3. #3
    Gatekeeper's Avatar
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    Damn, talk about a bullshit sentence . A fine and community service would suffice. Even if she threw that at me, I would not want to see her in prison for 2 years. Unless it is shown that she has a habbit of this type of impulsive behavior.

  4. #4
    BEB
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    Sad story. I feel bad for the kids.

    "Now people are going to see me as an angry, road rage, convicted felon. And it really upsets me," she said. "I must have been wrong . . . but seriously, God. Lesson learned. Lesson learned is one hour in this place."
    No lady, apparently you haven't learned yet. Maybe it'll eventually sink in that you WERE wrong, not that you 'must have been'.

  5. #5
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    That's the statute in Va. They could have possibly pled to a simple assault misd. Wow, Stafford County must really be bored.

  6. #6
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    That's ridiculous.

    Hopefully the judge does what judges do best, and reduces her sentence.

    Obviously she was wrong, but thats stupid
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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  7. #7
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    Did it go this far because she refused to accept responsibility?

    If her hubby is in the military, why did she have a public defender? Why didn't his command help her?

    I'm sure there is more to this story.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  8. #8
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
    Piggybank Cop is offline Nobody important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    Did it go this far because she refused to accept responsibility?

    If her hubby is in the military, why did she have a public defender? Why didn't his command help her?

    I'm sure there is more to this story.

    JAG doesn't get involved with civilian cases with dependents.

    As I remember.

    But I suffer from old timers disease.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1sgkelly View Post
    JAG doesn't get involved with civilian cases with dependents.

    As I remember.

    But I suffer from old timers disease.


    Well, I know they wouldn't give her a military lawyer, but I would think they would have helped her get a lawyer? Sheesh

    Have things changed so much since I was a Navy brat? My mother was an Ombudsman for the families of the ship her hubby was on, they looked out for each other.

    I don't know though. The sister claims all she heard was a thump? How can you not notice a cup flying across your face?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  10. #10
    Pedro56's Avatar
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    Must have been some hard up VA trooper not to laugh at the other guy for being such a bitch about a cup of ice. I know I would be proud of that pinch.
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  11. #11
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    California PC 23110

    Throwing Substances at Vehicles

    23110. (a) Any person who throws any substance at a vehicle or any occupant thereof on a highway is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (b) Any person who with intent to do great bodily injury maliciously and wilfully throws or projects any rock, brick, bottle, metal or other missile, or projects any other substance capable of doing serious bodily harm at such vehicle or occupant thereof is guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.

    We had a cup throwing case a while back. I was working the radio, when I got a call about a 6 year old assaulted with a cup at the local Burger King. I'm thinkin'..."WTF?!"

    It started as an argument over getting breakfast after they stopped serving. The kids Mom got bitchy, and insulted the manager. She went to McDonalds when he wouldn't serve her....he followed her, and as she pulled out of the drive-thru, he yelled "Take this Bitch!" and threw a drink cup at her. She leaned back, and it hit her 6 year old right in the face, cutting his lip.

    During the interview, he said he was sorry he hit the kid, because his was aiming at the Mom. He was arrested, as he admitted intent. Of course, the kicker....he asked the deputy..."Is this gonna hurt my chances of getting in the academy?"
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  12. #12
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    Update

    Ice-Throwing Driver Spared From Prison
    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    (02-21) 20:19 PST Stafford, Va. (AP) --
    A woman who hurled a McDonald's cup of ice into a car that cut her off in traffic was sentenced to probation instead of prison Wednesday.

    Jessica Hall, 25, could have gotten two years behind bars after being convicted last month of maliciously throwing a missile — the cup of ice — into an occupied vehicle in what was dubbed the "McMissile" case. No one was injured in the incident last July on Interstate 95.

    Hall thanked Judge Frank A. Hoss Jr. and wept after he put her on probation for five years. She has been in jail since Jan. 4.
    Though she was ordered free on the Virginia charges, she remained held there on a Mississippi warrant on suspicion of writing bad checks.

    Mississippi authorities Wednesday afternoon said they would drop the charge if her family pays the less than $1,000 owed on the checks. Hall's family has agreed to pay the amount, and she is expected to be released Thursday.

    In Virginia, prosecutor Daniel M. Chichester wanted her sent to prison, saying, "It is important to remember that it is not what is thrown but the danger created by that act that Virginia law seeks to protect against."

    Hall said traffic had slowed to a crawl when another car cut her off twice, once causing her to swerve onto the shoulder. She flung the cup of ice into the other car, and it landed all over the driver's girlfriend.

    The Jacksonville, N.C., woman is a mother of three, and her husband is serving his third tour in Iraq. She said she was planning to go to nursing school.

    "Now people are going to see me as an angry, road rage, convicted felon. And it really upsets me," she told The Washington Post. "I must have been wrong ... but seriously, God. Lesson learned. Lesson learned is one hour in this place."

    Hall's husband is in Iraq serving in the military. She admits flinging the cup of ice over her car into the other vehicle in anger after it cut her off twice in traffic. She says she was shocked by her conviction and concerned about her three young children.

    After learning of her probated sentence, Hall thanked the judge and began to cry.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  13. #13
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    In my opinion, if you need to be threatened with jail to learn a little self control, so be it.

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    Prove the intent of great bodily injury with a godamned cup. This whole thing is friggin rediculous. I would have told the one driver to man the fuck up, and stop driving like an asshole in the first place.
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    I think five years probation is pretty appropriate, but she shouldn't be a convicted felon over this. It was a paper cup.
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    That is what I am getting at and five years probation? For tossing a cup? I could see anger management class and 6 months probation. Then the driver of the other car has to go to a 2 year class on getting his man card back.
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  17. #17
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    Damn, let's hope dude never has a Big Mac Attack to deal with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro56 View Post
    Must have been some hard up VA trooper not to laugh at the other guy for being such a bitch about a cup of ice. I know I would be proud of that pinch.
    Actually if a VSP Trooper had told her that the other driver could have just went to the Magistrate and obtained there own felony warrant.
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  19. #19
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    Just suppose the male driver had been so surprised that he had lost control; crashed into the females car forced her into a bridge abutment and her sister and one or two of her kids had been killed; what then?

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  20. #20
    BEB
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    What he said.

 

 

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