Johnthony Walker, 25, is sworn in during his criminal trial Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 in Judge Don Poole's courtroom at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Chattanooga, Tenn. Walker is standing trial for the Nov. 21, 2016 bus crash in which six of the 37 Woodmore Elementary School students on board died.

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Jurors resume deliberations in fatal bus crash case

UPDATE: Johnthony Walker has been found guilty on 6 counts of criminally negligent homicide, 11 counts of reckless aggravated assault and 7 counts of assault.

Walker was also found guilty of reckless endangerment, reckless driving and using his phone.

His sentencing date has been set for April 24.


ORIGINAL STORY: Jurors worked another three hours this morning but still haven't reached a verdict in the trial of a bus driver charged with killing six students in a 2016 crash.

That makes about five hours of work total into the guilt or innocence of Johnthony Walker, who faces 34 crimes in connection with the Nov. 21, 2016, crash on Talley Road.

Prosecutors say Walker, 25, lost control of the bus and crashed into a tree because he was speeding and on his phone. The impact killed six of the 37 Woodmore Elementary School children onboard and injured several others.

But Walker says he wasn't on the phone at the time of the crash and was traveling 35 mph — as opposed to 50 mph — when a second oncoming vehicle caused him to swerve off road.

Walker faces six counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of assault, 17 counts of reckless aggravated assault and one count each of reckless endangerment, reckless driving and use of a portable device by a school bus driver.

The homicide, assault and reckless aggravated assault charges are in reference to the injuries the children suffered in the crash.

Jurors began deliberating around 4 p.m. Wednesday and worked until Judge Don Poole dismissed them for the evening around 6:30 p.m. They started this morning at 8:45 a.m. and had a question around 10:30 about one of Walker's reckless aggravated assault charges.

Would a verdict for reckless aggravated assault apply to all 17 counts, or could jurors decide their verdict on a count-by-count basis?

"Each count is an individual decision," Judge Poole told them.

Jurors are taking lunch right now. It's unclear if they will continue to deliberate while they eat.

Court will remain in recess until 1:15 p.m.