A Triad pastor, who is on trial for killing an 11-year-old boy at a school bus stop, took the witness stand, in his own defense, Thursday.
It was the third day of court proceedings in Billy Roger Bailey's trial. Bailey is a Pastor at a church in Walkertown and lives about two miles from the accident scene in Kernersville.
The accident happened in December 2012, just days before Christmas.
According to police, Hasani Wesley was crossing the street towards his school bus when Bailey hit him with his Jeep. Officers said Bailey was traveling about 45 miles per hour when he hit the boy.
Late Thursday afternoon, the high profile case took a turn when Bailey took the stand and gave an emotional testimony in a courtroom. Bailey was on the witness stand for less than an hour and choked up several times during his testimony.
Bailey stood by his claim that he did not see Wesley crossing the street. He said it was still dark around the time of the accident which investigators say was around 6:51 a.m.
Bailey says the bus had its warning amber lights on, but the driver never stopped and activated the red stop lights or stop arm before the crash.
He told the court he was looking at the bus anticipating it would stop, but it never did. Even after he hit Wesley, Bailey said he had no idea what he had crashed into until, he stopped more than 300 feet ahead and then walked back.
"I walked to [Hasani} and lied down beside him. The first thing I did was put the back of my hand to his mouth to see if he was still breathing and at that point in time, I assumed that he was. And, being in the field that I'm in, I just started praying for him," Bailey said, his voiced heavy with emotions.
During the hour Bailey was on the witness stand, the prosecution also questioned him. One of the state's attorneys got Bailey to admit he knows the road where the accident happened, he passes by every morning to work, he knows there are school buses that take that route and that children do get on the bus in the area.
Bailey, explained that he did not know the bus was about to stop on the other side of the street.
On the morning of the fatal accident, police say Wesley had originally missed his bus, but the driver had come back around to get him on the other side of the road. Investigators said this is why the boy was crossing the street towards the bus.
The prosecution stated their belief that Bailey was distracted, which is why he did not see Wesley nor the bus' red lights; a conclusion that the defense has spent the entire trial refuting.
Before leaving the stand, a state attorney asked Bailey, "you were just trying to beat the stop arm of that bus, weren't you?" to which Bailey replied, "no."
Jurors will be back Monday morning as the defense continues to call its witnesses.
No word yet on when the trial will end.
Stay with WFMY News 2, @WFMY , and @ReporterFaith for updates.
Late Thursday afternoon, the high profile case which has changed state law, took a turn when Bailey took the stand and gave an emotional testimony in a courtroom in Winston-Salem.