CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Only Channel 2 Action News was in court Wednesday when a teenager learned she faces a felony vehicular homicide in the death of her best friend.
Cristina Pavon-Baker, 17, crashed on Interstate 75 in Morrow during Senior Skip Day. The wreck killed Mikayla Penn, 18.
Pavon-Baker's attorney asked the judge Wednesday not to take her passport since she had a cruise scheduled next month.
That upset the victim's family and the district attorney.
“She doesn't need to be on a cruise enjoying herself,” Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson told the court.
Channel 2's Tom Jones said Lawson was clearly irritated when Pavon-Baker's attorney asked the judge to not take the teen's passport as a condition of bond.
“We would ask the court to allow her to leave the state and not put that restriction on her,” Pavon-Baker’s attorney Jackie Patterson said.
Responded Lawson: “I have an 18-year-old that can't go on a cruise. I have an 18-year-old who can't be with her parents who are in the back of this courtroom."
Jones said the cruise request upset Mikayla Penn's parents.
It was March 26 when Baker and Penn were headed to Southlake Mall on Senior Skip Day. Prosecutors said Baker drove 106 mph in a 65 mph zone on the Jonesboro Road exit along I-75.
Baker’s Mini Cooper flipped and crashed, killing Penn.
“We have some information that Snapchat may have been used” during the drive, Lawson said.
Baker is facing first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving and speeding charges.
Patterson said he meant no harm asking for Baker to go on the cruise.
“We were not trying to be insensitive. We were just trying to say, ‘Judge, she has already had these tickets for this cruise,’” Patterson told Jones.
Lawson said Baker has received enough special treatment.
“If you look at her history, these parents have covered for her over and over and over again. I believe in my heart of hearts Ms. Penn would be alive if this child had some consequences,” Lawson said.
Lawson was referring to some other traffic troubles Baker has had.
The judge gave Baker a $31,000 bond and ordered her to surrender her passport. The judge also ordered her not to drive and to stay off Snapchat.
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