Thursday March 30th, 2023 5:45PM

Cornelia woman pleads guilty in DUI crash that killed Habersham Central student

By Austin Eller News Director

A Cornelia woman entered a guilty plea Tuesday in connection with a 2019 DUI wreck outside Cornelia that resulted in the death of a Habersham Central High School Student.

According to a press release from the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney's office, Cherrie Pulido, 40, entered a non-negotiated guilty plea to first-degree homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane in the Superior Court of Habersham County. Judge David T. Emerson presided over the trial.

The charges stem from an incident on the morning of Nov. 20, 2019, on Camp Creek Road near Wilson Road. 

The Georgia State Patrol told AccessWDUN in 2019 that Pulido was reportedly driving a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee south on Camp Creek Road when she failed to maintain her lane, crossed the center line and traveled into the northbound lanes. The Jeep then struck a Ford F150 driven by Carlos Christo Morales, 17, of Baldwin.

Morales was airlifted to Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. Two other teenagers were inside the truck driven by Morales at the time of the accident, including Morales’ brother Obertino Morales, 15, and a cousin, Jose Jimenez Castro, 15, of Baldwin. The two other teenagers were transported to the hospital following the incident.

The teens involved all were 2019-2020 students at Habersham Central High School. 

Pulido's trial was set to begin Monday, but she entered the guilty plea the next day. She was sentenced to 15 years with 12 years to serve.

The crash was investigated and worked by the Georgia State Patrol and the Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team. The state was represented by Assistant District Attorney Meredith Davis and J. Edward Staples.


  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Crime, Habersham County, court, Habersham Central High School, sentencing, Mountain Judicial Circuit
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