UPDATE: Jury seated in Clarksville for trial of former Woodmore bus driver
The jurors will be brought to Chattanooga to hear the case, and will ultimately decide Johnthony Walker's fate.
UPDATE: A jury of 12 women and 4 men have been selected in Clarksville to hear the trial of Woodmore bus driver Johnthony Walker, which starts Tuesday.
They will be brought to Chattanooga to hear the case, and will ultimately decide Walker's fate. They'll be sequestered during their time here.
The jury selection began in Clarksville Friday.
Walker faces six counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of assault and 18 counts of reckless aggravated assault in the 2016 school bus crash.
Channel 3's Michelle Heron will be in the courtroom for jury selection and tweeting live updates.
PREVIOUS STORY: Today, a judge is expected to rule on the status of evidence that can be used in the trial of Woodmore bus driver Johnthony Walker.
At issue is Walker's behavior prior to the 2016 crash that claimed the lives of six young children.
Previous complaints about Walker's driving are under consideration by Judge Don Poole.
Poole granted the motion to exclude photographs and text messages in Walker's upcoming trial. His previous conduct will also be excluded from the trial.
But Poole ruled that the state may be able to request another hearing to make a decision on the use of such evidence during the trial.
PREVIOUS STORY: A Chattanooga bus driver appeared in court for one of the last hearings before the case against him heads to trial at the end of this month.
Prosecutors want to give the jury a look into Johnthony Walker's behavior in the weeks leading up to the crash that killed six children, but the defense believes it should only matter how Walker behaved on the day of the crash.
"He told the kids that he don't give a f*** about the kids. He told them they can get off this bus, leave them on the bus and he told them he can leave the bus and the kids there. He said he had a part-time job and that he didn't need this job," Former Woodmore Behavior Specialist Carlis Shackelford testified during a hearing Monday.
Prosecutors also want jurors to know about complaints filed before the crash and what others saw when Walker was driving Bus 366 with students on board.
"He sped out the back of Woodmore and took on off. Like did a donut and took on off," Shackelford added.
"He was making sudden stops, like, I don't know if the kids were getting on his nerves or whatever, he would make a real sudden stop," Jasmine Mateen, who lost a child in the crash, testified.
Former Woodmore Elementry School Principal Brenda Cothran testified that she forwarded complaints to Hamilton County's transportation director and even rode Walker's route to see how he interacted with students.
"My reason for riding the bus was to observe and to get a better idea of what was going on," Cothran said.
But Defense Attorney Amanda Dunn argues the testimony and complaints shouldn't be allowed because they don't pertain to the day of the crash and would prevent her client from having a fair trial.
"Ultimately what we have, You're Honor, is using this evidence for the purpose of playing on the emotions of the jury, confusing the jury or some other prejudicial effect that is not a proper basis for administering justice," Dunn said.
Both sides will meet again in a couple of weeks.
Jury selection is set for February 23rd in Clarksville-Montgomery County.
The trial is set to start on Monday, February 26th.
We'll keep you updated on what happens.
PREVIOUS STORY: Attorneys in the case against a former bus driver charged in a crash that killed six students and injured dozens of others met for one of the last times before trial Monday morning.
Johnthony Walker’s trial is set to begin later this month.
We learned more about Walker’s conduct weeks before the crash, but it’s up to a judge to decide if the testimony and records are allowed during trial.
Walker was joined by his mother as well as his attorney, Amanda Dunn.
Both sides agreed not to use autopsy photographs during the upcoming trial.
But one thing both sides disagree on is whether or not Walker’s prior conduct should be allowed.
We heard testimony from Woodmore’s former principal, a previous behavior specialist at the school and a mother who lost a child in the crash about Walker’s interactions with students and driving.
The defense argues the evidence doesn’t serve any value to what happened the day of the crash and that it would pull at the jury’s emotions, which she argues is unfair to her client.
The jury will be picked out of Clarksville-Montgomery County and will be sequestered to Chattanooga for the trial which starts on February 27, 2018.
We will have more on what happened inside the courtroom tonight on Channel 3.
PREVIOUS STORY: Former school bus driver charged in crash that killed 6 students, Johnthony Walker, in a Hamilton County courtroom for one of the last times before his trial. It’s scheduled for the end of this month.
Channel 3's Michelle Heron is in the courtroom and tweeting live updates. Her posts can be seen below.