Forsyth County, NC - Charges have been filed against the man who struck and killed 11-year-old Hasani Wesley after illegally passing a school bus December 19, 2012.
Forsyth County DA Jim O'Neill announced early Thursday afternoon that Billy Roger Bailey was charged with Class H Felony For Passing A School Bus And Killing Someone.
That charge carries a five to six month sentence for violators who do not have a criminal history. Bailey has no prior charges.
"The only thing I can tell you is that in the past, unfortunately, even some of these crimes were punishable only as misdemeanors," explained Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neil.
Five months may not seem like a lot but prior to recent legislation, the sentence was no longer than two months.
Just two years ago, this crime was a misdemeanor so it was possible the violator would only get community service.
"When most people hear that it's a crime that involves a 5 to 6 month punishment, they want to know why isn't there a greater sentence, can the prosecutor do anything more about it? The answer is we are sworn to uphold the law and apply the law that is on the books and this is the law that is on the books, it prescribes a 5 to 6 month punishment based on your prior criminal history," explained O'Neil.
O'Neil wouldn't say if he thinks the punishment for these crimes is fair.
Arrest papers obtained by WFMY News 2 shows that Bailey listed his job as a Reverend at Cross Road Ministry of Walkertown. His bond was set at $50,000.
Investigators said in December that the school bus driver had activated the flashing red lights and had its stop arm extended. Troopers said Bailey didn't see Hasani and hit him with his SUV.
Hasani died from injuries at Baptist Hospital the same day he was hit by Bailey.