Man accepts plea deal for lesser charge in death of 11-year-old hit, killed at bus stop

pastor

Billy Roger Bailey (WGHP)

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.

Hasani Wesley (WGHP)

Hasani Wesley (WGHP)

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.

Odina Wesley in court on Monday (WGHP)

Odina Wesley in court on Monday (WGHP)

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.

mom2

Odina Wesley in court on Monday (WGHP)

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.

58 comments

  • 2Cents

    Wow. I think the lesser charge is appropriate. This case should have never been sent to trial for a manslaughter charge. I also think the bus driver should have never turned around and went back to the stop. Years ago when I was in school, that never would have happened. Your parents either jumped in the car and dropped you off at another stop that had not been picked up yet, or they had to take you on to school. But the bus never back-tracked. Wonder if this driver is still employed with WSFC Schools?

  • Bishop

    Ridiculous!!! How can anyone think this is appropriate. You are responsible for the speed you are driving

  • nikii

    Praying for the family. I just do not understand our judicial system some times. He got off way to easy.

    • EyezOnYou

      No, the bus driver got off way too easy. SHE has a huge part in this… including her conflicting testimony and driving record. Why did the WSFC system hire her back after her driving violations that included running stop sign AND hitting another school bus!? I would not allow my child on her bus if I knew this information.

      • Stephanie

        I agree the bus driver should have lost her bus license after the 1st incident. Back when I was in high school, students were bus drivers and we were not allowed to have any moving violations in our personal car or let alone the bus. One strike – you were terminated from driving a bus even if you were in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault. I think there were higher standards for school bus drivers back then v. today.

  • Bishop

    Emotion aside, Im guessing this new evidence opens the door for the family to sue Forysth County Schools System for at least six figures as well as the bus driver

      • FAITHB

        Actually, you can sue the county, the school board, the company that controls the hiring/firing of the drivers, and the driver them-self for wrongful death and negligence. The onus of proof would be on you though and sometimes that is a hard thing to prove. You have to prove knowledge of an existing condition which caused the death or violation of laws or company rules which led to the death. The last one may be the easiest to prove as there should be written rules or training records to prove the case.

  • Debra Booth

    The is so wrong it does not matter that she turned around the stop sign was out and he was to stop he killed this child because he did not stop I was a bus driver for fourteen years and people tun the stop all the time i would report them take my time to go to court (that I did not get paid for) and they get off not even a ticket If our Judges would do like the law say and they lose their driver rights and get the points they are to get people would pay more attendant to their driving and save our children yes the driver of the bus was wrong to but she did not run a stop sign and kill a child shame on this man of God not taking his punishment May God be with the parents and their family I’m sorry you got the wrong side of the law
    Debra

  • JULS

    Hopefully the family will leave Mr. Bailey alone now. He killed the boy, yes, but he didn’t do it on purpose and he has I’m sure served his time with grief and will for the rest of his life. That is ENOUGH! If they want to attack someone now, maybe they should go after the bus driver that started this whole mess. I couldn’t imagine what the Wesley family is going thru but they need to point their finger at the correct person.

  • Larry Haver

    Eagle, really? Did you just bring that up? This child whether Black or White or Tan being killed is a Tragedy!!! Leave your Prejudicial remarks out of it!

  • Kathy

    This is a terrible tragedy and no one is a winner. My heart goes out to his family, they will never get over their loss. Also to the pastor, I cannot imagine anything worse than killing a child with my car.

  • EyezOnYou

    I wonder if the bus driver will face any charges. She gave multiple conflicting stories; the RED STOP LIGHT was not on (for an entire 20 seconds after it was stopped); the man was doing the speed limit. I knew something was fishy when the prosecutor agreed to a mistrial due to newly discovered evidence. It was the bus driver’s driving record and credibility. This has been a terrible tragedy for Hasani, his family and Mr. Bailey.

  • 2Cents

    The voices of disappointment on here: would it change your opinion at all if the bus arm and lights were NOT on as the driver claims? In previous coverage of this trial/incident, the bus driver says she turned the lights on and the stop sign was out; but the tracking system on the bus says that’s not so–and multiple witnesses in the area the day the accident happened says that’s not so. We will never know for sure, however, if you err on the side of reasonable doubt…..this man was driving down the road, a child runs out in the road…no lights…no stop sign…no arm…they said the bus had not even come to a complete stop! This is a tragic accident! I’m afraid some people believe that the driver saw the stop sign, saw the lights, saw the bus, saw the child….then sped up anyway to try and pass the bus and hit kid. And that’s NOT what happened.

    No one wins in this outcome. But I think it has been resolved in the best manner it could be.

    • RPGIII

      Excellent excellent comment!! You, me, john doe or Jane doe could have been in that situation and if a kid at 6:50 am in December runs right out in front of a driver and lets keep in mind that its dark (before sunrise) it would almost be impossible to see a kid in enough time. Accidents happen and the bus driver should have never got hired back because of her driving record

      • megdarling

        Yes he stopped. He spoke extensively on video with officers in the highway patrol officers car at the scene. He did not realize what he had hit because it all happened so fast.

  • JULS

    Debra Booth, if he could have stopped…. I’m sure he would have. It’s not like he was like… Oh a lil boy, let me hit him. He had no reaction time. Why don’t you stop and put yourself in his shoes. This was a true accident.

  • Ken

    Did the PASTOR SAY HE WAS SORRY ??? DID HE APOLOGIZE TO THE FAMILY ??? DID HE SHED 1/2 OF A TEAR ???? IS HE A CHRISTIAN Pastor ???? Looks like he did take the time this am to moose his hair some…. Dear Jesus…forgive him for hitting and killing this child….

    • JULS

      REALLY? This probably one of the STUPIDEST comments I have ever seen. If you have seen anything on this case you know this man is sorry, has apologized, and has shed many tears…..

  • Maria

    Why isn’t the bus driver on trial as well? I don’t think she should have been rehired in the first place. If I were the boy’s family, I would go after the people who hired her back. Now I’m not going to say his punishment is a slap on the wrist or not bc I don’t know the whole story but I pray for ALL people involved.

  • JAMES OLIVER

    I PERSONALLY KNOW ROGER BAILEY TO BE A MAN OF GOD. THIS WAS TRULY A TRAGIC ACCIDENT FOR BOTH SIDES. WE LOVE YOU ROGER AND WILL KEEP YOU IN OUR PRAYER’S .. AND ALSO THE WESLEY FAMILY AS WELL, GOD BLESS YOU ALL…JAMES

    • Bishop

      That title doesnt make him exempt. I dont think no one is questioning this was a true accident, be he saint or sinner its very sad all the way around. One could argue if he was so resolved in his faith.. why take the plea deal? Let God show man his innonence with another trial. Not my opinion just thinking from different angles. My point is.. he is human just like all of us and we all have made mistakes. A plea deal means you are not being charged with what you SHOULD be but a lesser amount of time and charges is being offered by the prosecution. Which means there is a larger fish to fry such as Forsyth County then this man right here. And since I’m sure his attorney advised him to take it that he was undoubtedly at the D.A. mercy for a lenient sentence

      • DE

        Bishop did it ever occur to you that maybe he can’t afford to pay for another trial. All you people that are so dead set that the man got off easy should turn your thoughts to the bus driver and the school system. It was a tragic accident, and from what I hear on the news I would say its the bus drivers fault. They say she violated school policy picking him up on the other side of the road.

        Read the above article: 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

        WHY HASN’T THIS RECKLESS BUS DRIVER BEEN CHARGED, AND WHY IS SHE STILL DRIVING A BUS WITH THE DRIVING RECORD SHE HAS?

  • Bishop

    It would of been a bigger story and footage of the memorial..and all his teacchers interviewed on camera, and donations to the family can be sent here. But Im not outraged that the driver is white and child is blk and I’m blk. Im outraged that a child was killed and the driver clearly was distracted and he mainly gets probation. Contrary to popular belief African – Americans dont make every case about race. What is judged is based on precedent in this country if it happened to a white person what has been the charge and sentencing, due process issues, prosecutorial misconduct, etc… and usually those paralled with african americans show a disaparaging gap in quality and committment of the judicial system and constitutional rights etc..

    • Bishop

      If the precedent shows that someone of different race was treated better than a minority regarding similiar case than that is an issue. You missed my point Stephen. Race card is not just used to use it. You made a comment with an intelligent way to justify it other than a statement of opinion. To answer your reply to William Dickens about if the child was white he would of been “buried”under the jail. http://www.startribune.com/local/261714111.html#vTh1l5KlUyYCbrBp.97 shows where a person ALMOST hit a child speeding pass a school bus and was charged with a misdemeanor. Now one should know there is a difference between doing something and ALMOST doing something yet both men in similair scenarios received the same category of charges. Thats an issue. Also let me clarigy before Stephen does that the article doesnt specify the nationalities of the child and the driver so one could only assume based on the stated names which would be stereotypical in nature and not relevant to prove my point of precedence shows this plea deal is reflective in similiar scenario where a child was “ALMOST” killed but not injured at all

    • Bishop

      *clarify… since individuals wish to make comments on simple spelling errors I did see where that word was misspelled after I posted. A to Z what ever letter I leave out please pull it from there

  • j

    If he wasn’t “a man of God” and all other facts, actions and personal responses regarding the case remained the same, would it make a difference?
    If so, why?

  • megdarling

    I travel the road that this incident occurred on, everyday. I have a small child in elementary school. My heart hurts for everyone involved. Objectively, Bailey did not pass a stopped school bus and hit a child, he hit a child and then passed the stopped school bus. The point that Wesley crossed the street and was hit did not coincide with where a driver would have needed to stop for that stopped bus without breaking the law. There is a blind curve right before that intersection in the direction Bailey was traveling and it is 45mph through there. If the exact same thing happened to me, I would have hit the child as well and there would have been nothing I could have done about it. It doesn’t matter if the lights were on or off or the stop arm was extended. It was just a terrible tragic accident. Official bus stop planning take visibility and previous stops to slow the flow of traffic into consideration and random stops don’t. The driver doesn’t deserve to go to jail and of course the child did not deserve to die. It was just an accident that resulted in a tragedy from random circumstances colliding. It is all very sad.

  • SherryB

    The speed limit on that road is 45mph..If there was no STOP out on that bus the man didn’t have to stop for it..The boy ran out in front of a car without looking. The bus driver is as much at fault for turning around to pick up a student who missed the bus and had to go across the traffic to board it..This was a tragic ACCIDENT and nothing more..It could happen to anyone of us..I certainly don’t stop for every bus I see on the road, if the lights are not on the STOP, I don’t..

    • RPGIII

      Also, I have seen school buses stop and the kid catch up to it but never should a bus turn around… idiot bus driver shouldn’t have been hired back in the first place

  • smokescreen

    MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL FAMILIES INVOLVED.BUT BECAUSE WERE HUMANS.WE TEND TO FAULT OTHERS WITHOUT THINKING. JUST WHAT IF WE WERE IN THE SAME SITUATION.ITS EASY TO PASS JUDGEMENT WHEN YOURE NOT WEARING THEIR SHOES.MAY GOD BRING SOMETHING GOOD OUT ALL OF TRAGEDY.

  • Kenyata

    It’s not what you know it’s who you know. Does his son work for the PD? No one should pass a school bus.

    • NC27313

      “Passing” a school bus does NOT necessarily mean he was behind the bus and literally drove AROUND a stopped school bus. In this case, he was driving in the opposite direction, coming towards the bus. (The bus had turned around and was on the other side of the road from where the child would normally board the bus.) Someone driving towards a bus that doesn’t have their stop arm/red lights on, would probably assume that the bus was waiting to turn into the neighborhood in that curve and would simply continued to drive forward. I pass school buses that are stopped waiting to make a left turn all the time – everyone does that ever day. It seems to me that based on the accident reconstruction, that is probably the case here, if the stop arm/red lights were not on. There were so many conflicting stories that it could never be determined if the stop arm was out or not. It could have been any one of us driving to work on a regular day, driving past a bus that we thought was waiting to make a left turn and, tragedy…….any one of us. Nobody wins in this situation. It’s tragic for everyone involved. I wish that the news would report the actual events of the accident, so that people will stop assuming that this man drove his jeep around a bus that was stopped, in a blind curve, and struck this child. It simply was not the case here.

  • attorney

    Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin is African American and one of the toughest prosecutors I know. It is absurd to think that the this decision was based on race. The District Attorney’s Office made the right call on tragic facts.

  • Walter Smith

    It’ll be interesting to see how the D.A. deals with this whole Don Martin & WS/FC Schools cover up / obstruction of justice mess. Being recorded telling an employee to stop investigating any evidence that might show WS/FCS liable for the accident, and then firing that employee when she refuses is a definate no no. It would probably be best for Martin to step down from the Forsyth County Commissioners before things get really ugly.

    • EyezOnYou

      I think it’s just the opposite Walter Smith. Ms. Fleming is accused of “coaching” the bus driver Stephanie Fulton and being over zealous. She is NOT an investigator, nor does she work for law enforcement. Evidence is to be secured by the appropriate agencies and she was not the appropriate one.

  • Bishop

    My point Amy was that a misdemeanor charge was given for almost hitting a child.. its hard to equate that with a child actually hit and killed regardless. But I digress , all the facts of this cause will never truly made public so maybe there was another rationale

  • Kaye Brundage

    When you read the facts that are indeed public, it clearly shows negligence and irresponsiblilty on the part of the bus driver. Eye witnesses at the scene stated the bus was not stopped, lights were not flashing, stop sign was not extended, the little boy ran across the street without looking, to catch the bus where he would not normally be catching it, and the man did not see the boy and therefore was unable to avoid hitting him. This was a Horrible Accident caused by several underlining factors. Is it justice for the “easy” sentence the man received? Maybe not to the parents. But since nothing has been shown saying the man was speeding or driving recklessly, I would say most of the blame falls on the bus driver. Why was the boy running late, and why could the parents not drive him to school, why did the bus driver not simply stop down the road and let the little boy catch up to the bus, why did the man happen to be there at that exact time? So many whys that we will never have the answers to. The parents need to find out why this driver was employed when her driving record clearly shows her driving skills are questionable. This case just proves it.

  • DE

    Bishop did it ever occur to you that maybe he can’t afford to pay for another trial. All you people that are so dead set that the man got off easy should turn your thoughts to the bus driver and the school system. It was a tragic accident, and from what I hear on the news I would say its the bus drivers fault. They say she violated school policy picking him up on the other side of the road.

    Read the above article: 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

    WHY HASN’T THIS RECKLESS BUS DRIVER BEEN CHARGED, AND WHY IS SHE STILL DRIVING A BUS WITH THE DRIVING RECORD SHE HAS?

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30,220 other followers