Judge Don Poole denied a request to reduce Walker’s sentence. (Screenshot: Staff)

Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole denied a request to reduce the sentence of the man who was driving the school bus that crashed and killed six children.

In April, Poole sentenced Johnthony Walker to a total of four years in prison.

Walker was driving on Talley Road in November 2016 when he crashed while driving back from Woodmore Elementary School. The incident shook the community, led to 33 criminal charges for Walker, multiple lawsuits and prompted discussions about seat belts on school buses.


Monday morning attorneys on either side of the case argued, in part, about the credibility of a witness who said Walker was speeding.

Ultimately, Poole said he doesn’t think there’s a question about whether Walker was driving too fast.

“I think the thing that caused this to happen was because of the excessive speed of this defendant,” Poole said.

The part of the decision that Poole said he found difficult was whether Walker qualified as a dangerous offender, which would have resulted in a more enhanced punishment. Ultimately, Poole said he didn’t think Walker fit the dangerous offender guidelines.

The law says that the punishment for a crime should be the least severe that would achieve justice.

“The least severe punishment to achieve the ends of justice was given,” Poole said.