Mistrial in case against man accused of passing school bus, killing child

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against Billy Roger Bailey, a man charged with involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly hit and killed 11-year-old Hasani Wesley at a school bus stop in 2012.

The mistrial was declared after new evidence came to light Wednesday morning.

The judge said there was “no other option.”

“This is something that came up that no one was aware of, that may or may not be useful but the fact that it may makes it important,” Judge Ronald Spivey told the jury around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
No other information about what was discovered by the district attorney’s office was provided.

Bailey will be retried at a later date.

A Forsyth County jury deliberated about three hours this morning without reaching a verdict.

The jury deliberated six hours over two days before they returned at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Hasani, a sixth-grader at East Forsyth Middle School, was hit Dec. 19, 2012, while crossing the southbound lane of Old Hollow Road on his way to catch a school bus.

Bailey was driving south on Old Hollow Road in his 1999 Jeep Cherokee and hit Hasani about 6:50 a.m. that morning. Hasani had missed the school bus, which turned around to pick him up.

Bailey has said that the bus’ yellow warning lights were on and that the bus was moving when he hit Hasani. Prosecutors allege that the bus’ red flashing lights were on and that the stop arm had come down when Hasani was hit.
Several prosecution witnesses, including the school bus driver and two of the students on the bus, testified that Hasani didn’t start crossing the road until the bus had completely stopped.

The 12 jurors asked for several exhibits from the prosecution and defense, including crash-scene photos, aerial maps and photos, and GPS data that was collected from the bus.

The jurors also re-watched a videotaped interview with Stephanie Fulton, the school bus driver. They also asked to see exterior and interior photos of the house of a neighbor who testified that he heard the bus’ brakes and saw the red flashing lights from his window.

Bailey not only faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter; he also is charged with passing a stopped school bus in connection with Hasani’s death.

Judge Spivey said he considered what to do with the new evidence for several hours Wednesday while the jury continued its deliberation. The mistrial was declared only after being agreed to by prosecutors and lawyers for the defense.

“It’s extremely unfortunate for the families on both sides of this case is ending this way with the case in the hands of a very conscientious jury,” said Spivey. “I realize it’s unsatisfactory to you. It is to me too.”



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