Legal battle far from over for Woodmore families, wait for civil cases continues

Johnthony Walker trial verdict - Courtroom pool.PNG
Families of the Woodmore six sit in the courtroom to heard the verdict for Johnthony Walker. (Image: WTVC)

Some of the parents of the Woodmore six are closer to closure.

Thursday, a jury found the driver in the Woodmore bus crash guilty in their deaths, but for some families the legal battle is far from over.

There are still 16 civil cases pending against bus driver Johnthony Walker.

According to attorney Bo Hixson, who represents one of the Woodmore families in a civil case, now that the criminal case is over, this opens more opportunities for lawyers in those civil suits.

Johnthony Walker was found guilty on 27 of 33 charges.

When he took the stand this week, he described to the jury what happened that November afternoon.

"At the time, I assumed I had blacked out. I've never blacked out before. When I was coming to, my arms were locked like this on the steering wheel and my legs were stiff on the accelerator and resting pad," Walker told the jury.

Now that the jury has issued a verdict, the attention turns to circuit court.

Attorneys tell us, before the criminal case ended, they weren't allowed to bring up any details from the day of the crash in the civil cases. They'll do that now since Walker chose to testify in the criminal case.

A case investigators say they'll never forget.

"I talked with Johnthony the night of the crash and I told him I didn't think he was the devil, but I think he made a very very bad mistake because of dangerous driving," said Joe Warren, Chattanooga Police Department.

Walker is out on bond until his sentencing date on April 24.

On Monday, March 12, there will be a status conference for those civil cases. At that time, attorneys will meet with the judge to decided the dates for a trial.