Couple arrested in hit-run death of Norcross man
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
September 01, 2011 12:00 AM | 6600 views | 12 12 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb police got a break in the nearly two-week-old case when an anonymous call from Alabaster, Ala., near Birmingham, informed them that a Porsche resembling the hit-and-run vehicle was getting repairs there.<br>Staff/Erin Gray
Cobb police got a break in the nearly two-week-old case when an anonymous call from Alabaster, Ala., near Birmingham, informed them that a Porsche resembling the hit-and-run vehicle was getting repairs there.
Staff/Erin Gray
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MARIETTA — Cobb police have arrested two Cobb residents in the fatal hit-and-run on Interstate 75 near Windy Hill Road nearly two weeks ago that killed a Norcross man.

Brandon Michael Weston, 32, of Smyrna, and Pamela Kay Rice, 41, of Marietta, were arrested on Tuesday and charged in the accident that killed 31-year-old Emanuel R. Mitchell the night of Aug. 20. The couple, who police said are married, is being held in the Cobb County Jail without bond.

They made their first court appearance Wednesday morning.

Weston is charged with vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence, both felonies, and failure to maintain lane, no insurance and failure to register a vehicle, all misdemeanors. Rice is charged with being a party to the crime of a hit-and-run, vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence, all felonies.

Weston and Rice were arrested at an apartment in Weston’s name at 1208 Cobb Crossing in the Oakley Run apartment complex off South Cobb Parkway in Smyrna. When police arrived at the apartment on Tuesday, the couple was home alone, said Chris Ayers, Cobb Police’s senior hit-and-run investigator.

Jail records indicate the two have different addresses, but Pierce said the two lived together in the Smyrna apartment.

Cobb police were called Friday morning by police dispatchers in Alabaster, Ala., near Birmingham, who said they had a call from an anonymous tipster who could give them information about the accident, said Sgt. Dana Pierce with Cobb police.

The tipster called Alabaster police after seeing the silver 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo in a body shop and seeing reports about the hit-and-run online, Ayers said.

Cobb investigators went to Alabaster with a wrecker Friday afternoon to retrieve the vehicle, which is being held as evidence until the case is closed, Pierce said.

Ayers said police don’t know whether the suspects drove the Porsche or had it towed to the Alabama community, approximately 160 miles from Marietta, but said it arrived there on Aug. 24.

The suspects reportedly requested the body shop paint the car a different color after repairing damages to the front fender and replacing the tires.

Pierce said the body shop, whose name has not been released, started working on the car before police retrieved it Friday.

Investigators are still trying to determine why the vehicle was taken to Alabama and what connection the couple has to Alabaster, Ayers said.

Ayers said that if the suspects had not fled the scene that day, they might have only been charged with failure to maintain lane.

“Through the efforts of the community, Alabaster (Police Department) and this individual who tipped off authorities in Alabama, they brought this case to a close,” Pierce said. “However, investigators have loose ends to tie up and it will stay open for prosecution purposes.”

Pierce said he “hopes in some way this brings closure” to the family of the victim, who was buried Wednesday.

According to an Aug. 21 press release, witnesses told police the driver of the Porsche was headed southbound down Interstate 75 to the right of Mitchell’s black 1990 Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle when the driver abruptly changed lanes to the left, hitting Mitchell. Mitchell was ejected from his motorcycle, and a second car, driven by 23-year-old Sonni Smith of Atlanta, hit him. Mitchell was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith was not charged in the accident.

Witnesses were able to identify the suspect’s vehicle at the crime scene on Aug. 20 and police were later able to identify the make and model of the vehicle from evidence on the scene.

Police do not know who was driving at the time of the accident on Aug. 20, but the vehicle is registered in Weston’s name.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Cobb investigators at (770) 499-3987.
Comments
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Emanuel's Mom
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September 18, 2011
My son is dead and the whole family is still going through PURE HELL. Why should your family be sheltered from the consequences of your mother's actions?!She is obviously a grown CALCULATING RUTHLESS person herself.The real crime was being cowards and covering their tracks. I do forgive them but you need to GET REAL!!! My family is suffering from your mom & Brandon's actions.Why should your family have it easy? Your mother did this to your family - Not people whom you consider to be ruthless!
DeenaM
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September 09, 2012
My players go out to your entire family. I knew and loved Manny but we lost touch in 2004. He had been on my mind so heavy that I started looking for him online. It breaks my heart this is the result of searching. I'm so glad GOD saw fit to bring his killers to justice. Gone too soon and never forgotten. RIP
CB24
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September 07, 2011
As much as you would like to blam Brandon for all of this, Pam Rice is a grown woman who made all of her own choices. They've only known each other a few months. She wasn't manipulated by anyone. She's 10 years older than him with 3 children. She should have been thinking about them instead of herself. He was obviously scared and instead of your mother telling him to do the right thing, she helped him do the wrong thing. They are BOTH responsible for the decisions that were made. This was an accident that has gone completely wrong by bad decisions. Brandon is a good person and has a good heart. Everyone is a victim in this and its sad that you can't see that. Its easy for all of you to sit back and judge but the truth is nobody knows what they would do in that situation. Imagine if he/she were your family or loved one. You might feel differently. This could have happened to ANYONE. Remember that next time you're so quick to judge people.
bb24
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September 04, 2011
@Shaneequa Valezquez comment...I just don't understand why you think that you are above the law. I find it hard to believe that you have honestly been driving for 10 years without insurance! That is just totally unacceptable.

setira
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September 04, 2011
driving with out insurance is and should be a crime. Bragging about not having insurance for 10 plus years shows how dumb you really are. I would like to see you use the "its mistake" line when they update the states insurance database every 2 hours.

Insurance is to protect the people that YOU hurt and repair the property of the person that you destroyed.

Pam did not do anything..... Like call the cops and report her husband... I am sorry that your family is under pressure. But at least you can visit your mom in Jail rather than her grave side unlike the other family.
Harley Rider
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September 03, 2011
If your mom didn't know anything about this I suppose she also wasn't curious as to why Brandon would get his car repaired in a different state.
anonymous
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September 02, 2011
I am gonna guess that, as so many motorcyclists do, the motorcyclist was riding in the drivers blind spot...a sure recipe for disaster (for the motorcyclist).
Shaneequa Valezquez
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September 01, 2011
Felony my butt. I have been driving wifout insurance for 10 yrs and no body ever caught me and I naver had an accident. I can just say it is clerical error and off I go. These people did nothing wrong . that bike jumped right in front of them, so leave them alone
Felonyisright
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September 01, 2011
Two pieces of excrement...and contrasting colors how fascinating. Throw the book at them and let them rot.
A Taxpayer
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September 01, 2011
Yeah!!! If that's really what "Chris Ayers, Cobb Police’s senior hit-and-run investigator" thinks, then there's a pretty serious problem around here.
Felony
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September 01, 2011
They should make no insurance a felony. Those of us who are responsible and have insurance coverage are paying out the butt to cover those who do not carry insurance. It is not fair at all that we should have to pay for these scum bags. Leaving the scene of an accident should also be a felony.
HJL7292
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September 01, 2011
"they might have only been charged with failure to maintain lane". So it's ok to run over bikers as long as you stop?
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