MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Johnthony Walker found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in Woodmore bus crash

Johnthony Walker has been found guilty of all six counts of criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of six Woodmore Elementary School children. He has also been found guilty of 21 other charges. (Image: Courtroom pool)

The jury has reached a verdict in the Johnthony Walker trial Thursday, and found him guilty of 27 of the 33 charges against him after six Woodmore Elementary School students died in the November 2016 bus crash.

You can watch the verdict as it was read below:

Johnthony Walker has been found guilty of all six counts of criminally negligent homicide, a lesser charge than vehicular homicide.

8-year-old Keonte Wilson, 9-year-old Cor'Dayja Jones, 6-year-old D'Myunn Brown, 6-year-old Zyaira Mateen, 9-year-old Zoie Nash, and 10-year-old Zyanna Harris died in the crash in November 2016.

Walker has also been found guilty of 11 counts of reckless aggravated assault, seven counts of assault, one count of reckless endangerment, one count of reckless driving, and one count of use of a portable device by a school bus driver.

Walker was found not guilty of six counts of assault.

Johnthony Walker is on bond until his sentencing date, April 24th.

You can read a full timeline of events, from the time of the Woodmore bus crash up until now, at the link here.

You can see more of this week's trial as it developed below:


Tuesday - Day 1

Walker's trial began on Tuesday, with the state calling their first witness, a woman who was driving behind the school bus on the day of the crash.

Ann Jones Pierre said that Walker "left the stop sign a little fast" and then described seeing a cloud of dust before seeing the crash site.

Another witness, Michelle Brogdon, testified that she talked to the kids coming out to try to calm them down.

"Some of them had blood on them. Some of them had someone else's blood on them."

The next witness, Takiesha Nixson, worked with Walker with his second job at Amazon. She also testified she was on the phone with Walker right before the crash, and said she hung up when she learned he was driving.

Read more of Tuesday's testimony here.


Wednesday - Day 2

On Wednesday, Johnthony Walker took the stand and testified that he wasn't speeding nor on his phone at the time of the crash, and said he did what he could to help the injured children immediately after the crash happened.

Walker says when he was on Talley Road, he then saw a small white bus or van that was encroaching his lane, and caused him to veer his bus.

"I did what I could."

District Attorney Neal Pinkston questioned Walker about the events. Walker said there weren't any issues with his bus on the day he began his route.

The prosecution and defense began their closing arguments.

The state says that while Walker told the court that he was going 35 mph, that estimate is inconsistent with injuries sustained in the crash.

In their closing statements, the defense said Chattanooga Police failed to investigate properly.

The jury began deliberations, which have continued into Thursday.

You can see more of Wednesday's testimony and closing arguments here.


Thursday morning - Day 3

On Thursday, jurors returned to court to continue deliberations in the trial of Johnthony Walker, the man accused of killing six Woodmore Elementary School children in a bus crash in 2016.

Around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the jury came out to the courtroom to ask whether the aggravated assault charges against Walker should be considered separately or as a whole. The judge repeated his instructions from the day prior.

At noon, the jury broke for an hour for lunch.

Watch Hannah Lawrence's report from our midday show:


close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending