WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Billy Roger Bailey, the Triad Pastor who fatally struck 11-year-old Hasani Wesley at a school bus stop in Kernersville, has accepted a plea bargain. Monday morning Bailey pleaded guilty to Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle. He was originally charged with Involuntary Manslaughter Charge which is a felony.
He was sentenced to 60-days in jail, (30 days suspension), three years of probation and 240 hours of community service.
Bailey apologized to the Wesley family. He said he is "deeply sorry" and "you all will always be in my prayers". He told them he didn't reach out sooner because of the pending case.
After the sentencing Judge William Wood said to the court: "[We] can't bring Hasani back. All we can do is give him imperfect justice in this imperfect world."
During the hearing Monday, WFMY News 2's Faith Abubey learned the reason for the mistrial, in April, was because of new evidence found in about 4,000 pages of documents. Attorneys issued subpoenas to Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools to obtain the documents. The district didn't withhold the information, but it wasn't discovered until the April trial was underway.
Included in the documents were Stephanie Fulton, the school bus driver's, (driving) history:
- Stephanie Fulton was cited by district for driving wrong way in traffic circle going 10 miles over speed limit
- alleged to have ran a stop sign on September 4th 2008, citizen called to report because she was almost hit by the bus
- Fulton crashed her bus in another incident into another bus at a low speed. No one injured
- Fulton was terminated in 2008 and hired back 6 months later
- Fulton violated school policy by stopping in opposite direction of designated stop for Hasani and had done it before
The documents also state that Rhonda Flemming; the supervisor for school transportation department:
- Acted improperly in interacting with witnesses and employees of school system
- Flemming was terminated shortly after the incident
- Superintendent Dr. Don Martin wrote termination letter
*Martin is no longer with WSFCS Schools, he retired in 2012
- Prosecution does't know if Flemming had influence on testimonies
- As a result of this incident, WSFCS will now install cameras on all school buses so prosecution never has to guess again what happened at an accident scene
Theo Helm, spokesperson for the school district, said the district isn't losing sight of what happened. "The death of Hasani Wesley is a terrible tragedy and we've kept him and his family in our thoughts and prayers as it happens and we continue to do so now."
Wesley's parents place some of the blame on the district for not giving the District Attorney documents about the bus driver. Helm said, "We have given everything we have to the District Attorney's office when they have requested it so we've cooperated with them fully in every step and that's what we do in situations like this."
Hear Hasani's mom emotional testimony during plea hearing
According to police - on the morning of the fatal accident - Hasani missed his bus and the school bus driver turned around to get him on the other side of the road, which is against the school district's policy.
That's when Hasani crossed the street to get to the bus and Bailey hit him. Officers said Bailey was driving about 45 mph. The prosecution has argued the school bus was stopped with the stop arm out and flashing red lights when Bailey hit Hasani.
The Wesley family's attorney said the family is highly opposed to the deal and spoke out in protest.
December 19, 2012: Memorial for Hasani Wesley