It's a guilty verdict for five of the six Richmond middle school students accused of beating up their bus driver. The Albert Hill middle students faced felony charges for the attack, but those charges were reduced to misdemeanors Wednesday.
Prosecutors say they couldn't see these 12 to 14-year-olds with no previous criminal histories facing felonies, especially after reviewing surveillance video. But they agreed something had to be done to teach the teens a lesson.
"Do you think he learned a lesson from this?" we questioned one of the parents leaving court, but she kept quiet.
With their parents by their side, all six of the students accused of beating up bus driver Gregory Davis last Fall left the courtroom.
Five of the students plead guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery charges which prosecutors reduced from the felony charges the teens originally faced.
"Are you pleased? This could've ended a lot worse," we asked another parent Robyn Allen.
"It could've but I left it up to God," she said.
Allen's son was the only teen to get off the hook. The state says the video didn't prove he did the crime. Allen says she's glad it's all behind them.
"I still have a good kid. I just wanted this to hurry up and be over with so he could fulfill his dreams, go back to school and get his education," she said.
After the incidents parents told us the driver should share in the blame, claiming he spoke down to the students and allegedly choked one of the rowdy teens.
"It's fair to say the juveniles that were on that bus acted appropriately and it's certainly safe to say that the bus driver acted inappropriately that day.There was a lot of blame to go around but at the end of the day the children should not have assaulted the bus driver and that's why they were found guilty of that charge," said Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Edward Nickel.
We tried to get the bus driver's side of things as he left court but he too kept quiet per the advice of his attorney.
"Y'all have a good day…We just don't have any comment," Attorney William Seymour said.
The five students were ordered to have no contact with the bus driver and to remain on good behavior in and out of school as a condition of their probation. Prosecutors say there will be a status hearing in a year to see how they're doing.
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