FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Billy Roger Bailey, a man charged with involuntary manslaughter after he hit and killed 11-year-old Hasani Wesley at a school bus stop in 2012, pleaded guilty on Monday morning to misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in Forsyth Superior Court.
The plea deal comes two months after a judge declared a mistrial while a jury was deliberating charges against Bailey of involuntary manslaughter and other charges related to the death of Wesley, a sixth-grader at East Forsyth Middle School, on Dec. 19, 2012, who was killed while crossing the southbound lane of Old Hollow Road on his way to catch a school bus.
Bailey will serve 30 days in jail and will be on probation for 30 months. He will also be required to perform 240 hours of community service. He was given a 60-day suspended sentence, meaning if he violates his probation, he could be sent to jail for the additional 30 days.
Bailey was driving south on Old Hollow Road in his 1999 Jeep Cherokee and hit Hasani around 6:50 a.m. that morning.
Hasani had missed the school bus, which turned around to pick him up.
On Monday, the prosecution revealed details from 4,000 pages of new evidence that surfaced during the prior trial.
The bus driver, Stephanie Fulton, was terminated by WSFC in 2008 after traffic violations including running a stop sign, crashing into another school bus and driving 10 mph over the speed limit.
The school system hired her again 6 months after she was terminated.
According to court documents, Hasani’s friends say he missed the bus and asked the bus driver to come back. She returned, meaning Hasani had to cross the road to board the bus.
This change was a violation of school policy, according to the court documents.
Rhonda Fleming, the former transportation director with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, was accused of interacting with employees and witnesses.
It’s unclear if the red lights were activated on the bus.
Wesley’s mother took the stand on Monday and described her son as “athletic,” and involved in football and karate. She described the day he was hit as an “out of body experience.” Two friends came to her door to tell her Hasani had been hit.
Odina Wesley, who is a nurse, responded to the scene and “turned him correctly to preserve his spine.” She also administered CPR.
Wesley claims no one else at the scene attempted to administer CPR or help her. She said she believes they were afraid to help.
Hasani Wesley never regained consciousness.
Odina Wesley described Hasani as her “best friend” and the “love of her life.” She said she cries for her baby “every day.”
Odina Wesley said she believes the plea deal is “discourteous and disrespectful” to the family,” saying it sends the message that you can run a stopped school bus sign, kill a child and only get a slap on the wrist.
The jury had deliberated seven hours over two days in April when Judge Ronald Spivey of Forsyth Superior Court declared a mistrial after Forsyth County prosecutors said they had discovered new evidence. Spivey said in court that the evidence would not have ordinarily been filed with the District Attorney’s office or with any law enforcement.
Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill said in court that his office investigated the new information and determined that it could be evidence that would be required to be turned over to the defense.