STARKVILLE — Jan Morgan has imagined how surreal the moment will be when she meets Robbie A. Norton.
The Starkville cyclist drew nationwide attention following her accident with Norton, who in May hit Morgan with her vehicle on Highway 50 in Clay County. Morgan spent nearly a month in a coma and had numerous medical procedures done since the accident. To this day, Morgan has never talked to or seen Norton.
At 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning, the two will appear in Clay County Justice Court after Morgan pressed misdemeanor charges a month ago. Norton, of Cedar Bluff, faces a charge of simple assault with a deadly weapon, which carries a fine of up to $500 and six months in jail.
“I’ve been told it could be anti-climactic,” Morgan said. “But it’s a moment I’ve thought about for a while.”
The case will be heard by Judge Joe Taggart.
Morgan decided to press charges after speaking with several people in law enforcement who recommend she pursue simple assault charges.
She’d pondered a civil suit or possibly pursuing felony charges against Norton, though the risk of a countersuit in the event of defeat was too high.
The District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges because Norton wasn’t intoxicated and didn’t leave the scene, which would have constituted felony charges.
“Even though it’s a misdemeanor, it will send a message,” Morgan said. “They’ll have to arrest her and bring her to jail. She’ll still have to post bail to get out. The court could end up giving us some kind of financial award, but I’m not looking for anything monetary.”
If Norton pleads not guilty and all of the witnesses are present, the trial will go forward today. Morgan said she’s unlikely to take the stand since she doesn’t remember the incident.
According to state law, Morgan must prove Norton purposely or recklessly caused bodily harm with a weapon or anything that could cause death.
Norton, of Cedar Bluff, hit Morgan while she cycled with a friend on May 22. Witnesses say that Norton ran over Morgan’s head a second time while trying to move her vehicle to the side of the road.
Morgan was in a coma for close to a month and has spent rehabilitation time at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and the Quest Center in Jackson.
Morgan has been fully discharged from outpatient therapy and has been cleared by her therapist to drive a car.
“I can still tell I had a head injury,” Morgan said. “Some days, I feel a little bit woozy if I try to do too much. But if I never get any better than I am now, I’d be OK with that.”