Lawyer asks for client's privacy after police charge her in relatives' death

Lawyer asks for client's privacy after police charge her in relatives' death
Updated: Mar. 1, 2017 at 9:36 PM EST
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Columbus, GA (WTVM) - The attorney representing a Columbus woman charged in the deaths of two loved ones has released more information.

Shevan Thomas says his client, Francisca Taperia-Santiago and her family, continue to grieve after Saturday's horrific car accident near Interstate 185 and Victory Drive.

Police reports indicated eight family members were injured in the crash. We have confirmed one relative, Juan Camaja, has been discharged from Midtown Medical Center.

Thomas said his client Taperia-Santiago has wanted to keep a low profile since she bonded out of court.

Her charges include the vehicular homicide of her 6-year-old daughter, Juliana Taperia, and 13-year-old nephew, Jose Taperia.

Thomas said he also wants to remind the community that she's still trying to process this tragedy.

"It's a very hard time for them," Thomas said after meeting with her family.  "I just wish that everybody would treat this situation as if it were your next-door neighbor."

The Muscogee County School District confirmed that Juliana Taperia went to South Columbus Elementary and her cousin Jose Taperia attended Baker Middle School.

In a statement, the district also said they have sent counseling teams to both schools.

We asked Thomas if his client's family has prepared funeral arrangements for the two children.

He declined to tell us a specific date, saying he wants them to have their privacy.

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