UPDATE: Woodmore bus driver Johnthony Walker out on bond - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Woodmore bus driver Johnthony Walker out on bond

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Johnthony Walker. TFP photo Johnthony Walker. TFP photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Channel 3 has learned that Woodmore bus driver Johnthony Walker was released Wednesday morning on bail, making his $50,000 bond.


PREVIOUS STORY: Johnthony Walker, the driver in the 2016 Woodmore bus crash that claimed the lives of six children, has a new court date.

Walker's jury trial is now scheduled February 27, 2018. Earlier Tuesday, the date of Feb. 20 was selected by Judge Don Poole but a conflict was later determined, delaying the trial by a week.


PREVIOUS STORY: Johnthony Walker's bond has been reduced by a Hamilton County judge. The 25-year old would be on supervised release while his case is pending in Criminal Court. 

Walker has never been in any trouble before the fatal Woodmore bus crash on November 21, 2016. Walker worked two jobs, had strong family ties and lived within his community, as has most of his family, for his entire life, and people also vouched for his character during a hearing in August, Judge Don Poole wrote an order filed Wednesday.

He will remain in the Hamilton County Jail until Poole gets another order detailing the terms of his GPS monitoring, which hasn't been filed at this time. Judge Poole did reduce his bond from $107,000 to $50,000. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The attorney for the bus driver in the crash that killed six Woodmore Elementary students presented a new argument in court Thursday. 

She claims another vehicle, described as a white bus, was involved. It's unclear who was driving the bus, who the bus was associated with or where it was coming or going. 

Johnthony Walker's attorney says it was spotted at the time of the crash on Talley Road and her client swerved to miss it, causing the crash that killed six children. 

Prosecutors say the woman who claims she saw the bus is unreliable. 

It's new evidence, filed by Walker's attorney Amanda Dunn, in an effort to keep him out of jail. 

The judge says it's too soon to decide if Walker should receive an alternative sentence. 

Walker's pastor, Charles Moore, attended Thursday's hearing.

"I always have and I always will love you, I'm praying for you and I hate this situation happened. We cannot always understand why situations happen like they do, but I believe God has a blessing for us and will see us through our strength in him for years to come," he said. 

Walker, who has otherwise shown no emotion, lost control as his attorney read a letter, written by on of his mentors. 

"I remember one time when we went to Goodwill to find some professional attire so he would look his best," Dunn read. 

It described some of the hardships Walker faced growing up and how he strived to do his best. 

"This is the first time my client has gotten to come to court and sit and have people say what a good person that he is. And that is emotional for him and I think that is emotional for anyone that heard it, I hope," Dunn told Channel 3 after the hearing. 

Dunn pointed to the letter and testimony while trying to convince the judge to lower Walker's $100,000 bond. 

She says he needs mental and emotional support after the crash that he can't get while in solitary confinement. 

"I think that Johnthony would like to work. I think he would like to see his family. He does have a young son and I don't think there is anything that the would want more then to be reunited with his son," she added. 

The state believes Walker's bond should remain the same, calling him a flight risk. 

The judge chose to take more time to look at the evidence presented. 

Walker faces 34 charges and could face six years in jail. 


Judge Don Poole denied the request Thursday for a judicial diversion, or alternate sentence, for Woodmore bus driver Johnthony Walker.

Walker's attorney argued that her client's $100,000 bond should be lowered as well. Walker has been in custody and held in isolation since the crash on November 21, 2016.

Several long-time friends of Walkers were in court to share their experience with Walker and to vouch for his character.

Walker's attorney, Amanda Dunn, then began pressing the case that a second vehicle may have contributed to the deadly crash.

Video purports to show the second vehicle, a white van, turning on to Talley Road, about the same time as the crash.


PREVIOUS STORY: New details in the case against a bus driver involved in the deadly Woodmore crash. 

READ MORE | Woodmore Bus Crash

Channel 3 obtained a motion filed by Johnthony Walker's attorney, Amanda Dunn, Friday. The motion says she will present evidence that proves there was a second vehicle on Talley Road the day of the crash, which caused her client to veer right to avoid a collision. 

The motion claims Johnthony Walker encountered the large vehicle as he was making a turn on Talley Road . And there was quote, "insufficient room in the roadway for these two vehicles to pass safely."

The motion goes on to say, Walker steered the bus to the right to avoid a collision with the other vehicle. Walker's attorney says video footage will confirm the circumstances, as well as an eyewitness. This evidence will be presented in court on Thursday. 

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