Prosecutor will seek a more serious charge for driver involved in deadly accident that killed Portsmouth man

Posted at 7:46 PM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 19:46:31-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth prosecutor Brandon Wrobleski told the judge that he plans to seek a more serious charge against a driver who collided with a man on his motorcycle.

Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Williams was struck and killed just before 8 a.m. in early May at the intersection of High Street and Jamestown Avenue.

Matthew Williams

The woman accused of causing the crash went in front of a judge Thursday.

Matthew Williams' mother, Robin Williams, left court and said, "I feel very good like there's a chance for justice."

Dressed in green, her son's favorite color, Robin Williams was relieved leaving court surrounded by several family members.

Originally,  the driver of the SUV, Sara Smith, was charged with a misdemeanor for failing to stop at the intersection.

Thursday the Commonwealth's Attorney moved to nolle prosequi that charge but said he intends to now file a more serious charge against Smith.

Williams’ family was happy to learn this.

"When you just get a traffic ticket for running a stop sign and a life is taken there should be more consequences than that," said Williams.

The Commonwealth's Attorney wouldn’t say what the more serious charge could be, but News 3 sat down with our Legal Analyst George Neskis with the Decker Law Firm. Neskis said the prosecutor would likely seek a reckless driving charge or involuntary manslaughter charge.

He admits these can be really tough for both sides.

"The criminal charges should be reflective of the behavior of the accused in these types of cases and those are hard cases to decipher and do justice in for the obvious reason that we are dealing with a highly emotional and tragic circumstance," said Neskis.

News 3 spoke to Smith's attorney briefly after court who said the prosecutor has a job to do and they will do their job too.

Williams leaves behind a five-year-old and a six-year-old boy and girl. He worked as a barber and had dreams of owning his own shop one day.

His mother said that he was going to school to get his business degree.

His family warns others on the road to look twice and save a life.


Family wants more charges for driver who killed man on motorcycle in Portsmouth

Motorcyclist killed in Portsmouth crash