A Florida woman who smiled in her mugshot is attracting a lot of media attention because of her perceived callousness after being involved in a car crash.
Angenette Welk. Photo courtesy of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
After the Florida Highway Patrol initially arrested 44-year-old Angenette Marie Welk and charged her with DUI with serious bodily injury, she now faces additional charges and prison time after one of the people involved in the crash died four days after the three-vehicle accident.
“She is getting a raw deal,” said attorney Brad Koffel. “The news is trying to tie her smile to a lack of sincerity about the accident. I have defended hundreds of people charged with this exact offense this mug shot is very misleading and highly prejudicial. It should never be used in her trial. Clearly it was serious, but this photo is absolutely out of context.”
A core tenant of United States law is that someone is innocent until proven guilty. The way this woman is being treated by the media paints her as a heartless monster with a simple picture. The court of public opinion is a dangerous place – there’s a reason we have a legal process everyone charged with a crime needs to go through.
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