CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The attorney for the Woodmore bus driver wants diversion to be considered for her client.
At Johnthony Walker’s brief hearing on Thursday, family members of some of the Woodmore bus crash victims were visibly upset. Walker’s attorney, Amanda Dunn, told Judge Poole, she intends to file an application for diversion.
“What that means is that person would plead guilty but a judgment would not go down against them pending their competition of a probation term and any other conditions a judge felt was appropriate in their case,” Dunn said.
While Dunn doesn’t think the state would support diversion, she is confident Walker could qualify.
“I think my client has an excellent social history in our community. He has never been in trouble in his entire life. He is a high school graduate. He is working two jobs at the time of this event. He has been nothing but an upstanding member of society and he should be entitled to receive the benefit of that diversion eligibility the same as any other person that comes up here charged with similar crimes,” Dunn said.
She says this would defer judgment.
“If someone gets diversion and they do not complete the terms of their probation or follow the strict confines of the judge’s ruling then the judgment can be entered against them,” Dunn said.
Meanwhile, District Attorney General Neal Pinkston told Judge Pool he plans to seek for more charges.
“The state has additional evidence we will submit to the grand jury, so I think that it is appropriate to let the court know that, so that will be resolved by the time we come back,” Pinkston said.
With support from officers, family members of the victims let out cries, as the hearing came to a close.
Walker’s hearing about diversion is set for August 10.