10-11-19 Athens driver court.jpg

Photo by KathI NailingPictured from left to right are: Brian Schmidt, John Stevens and Mike Head arrive in court.

Attorneys representing John Stevens, the Athens Independent School District bus driver indicted in connection with the auto-train crash that killed one student and injured another student, has asked Judge Scott R. McKee to grant a continuance in the discovery hearing scheduled for Thursday.

A discovery hearing is a pre-trial hearing for both sides to obtain evidence from the other party by means of discovery. This can be a request for documents, devices or other evidence pertain to the case.

Defense attorney Justin Weiner said they had received all the discovery information requested from the state and from Athens ISD. They are currently waiting on evidence they have request from the City of Athens.

”We have an open records request with the city,” Weiner said. “They are working on getting us the information we have requested.”

Weiner would not elaborate on what information they are requesting from the city, other than to say it is a multitude of information.

This is the second continuance of the discovery hearing. McKee reset the hearing for Dec. 11. Weiner said a pre-trial hear for the attorneys to present motions in Oct. will be pushed back after the Dec. 11 discovery hearing.

Stevens, 79, was indicted in May for the accident on  January 25. The bus driver was making the afternoon run of an Athens Independent School District bus with two children aboard. At about 4 p.m., the bus reached the railroad track and went into the path of a westbound Union Pacific freight train. The collision killed 13-year-old Christopher Bonilla and injured 9-year-old Joselyn Torres. Stevens was also injured. Torres was airlifted to Children's Medical Center in Dallas, where she was treated and released a few days later. Stevens was treated at UT Health in Athens and released.The case was turned over to District Attorney Mark Hall and presented to a grand jury.  The Grand Jury indicted Stevens on May 31 for criminal negligent homicide and injury to a child. No trial date has been set.

Stevens is being represented by attorneys  Justin Weiner, Mike Head and Bryan Schmidt.

No trial date has been set.

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