Trial for Athens bus driver pushed back, likely to be held in 2020


ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – The trial for John Stevens, the Athens ISD bus driver from the collision with a Union Pacific train back in January, has been pushed back after a hearing in the 392nd District Court.

Judge R. Scott McKee granted a continuance following a brief discovery status hearing. Defense lawyers said that they have filed an open records request with the school district and said that it would take time to go through it.

Stevens, 78, was present for the hearing, but did not say a word at any point during his appearance.

He is charged with criminally negligent homicide and injury to a child. The crash killed Christopher Bonilla, 13, after he was thrown from the bus. The accident also injured Joselyne Torres, 9. 

Stevens was booked and released on $10,00 bond.

There is another discovery hearing set for October 10 at 1 p.m. with a pre-trial hearing set for November 7.

In comments to the media after the hearing, an attorney said that if the case makes it to trial, it likely would not be held until 2020.

The Athens community had expressed its support for Stevens in the wake of the crash, with many saying he was a victim as well.

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