FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - An ambulance driver accused of killing two people in a crash earlier this year is now a free man. This comes after a judge dismissed charges of vehicular homicide against the 19-year-old.
John Walker walked into court facing two vehicular homicide charges and just a day later, he walked out with a $1,000 fine and 12 months of probation. The mother of one of the victims spoke with FOX 5, saying she feels the system has failed her daughter.
"When you take a life, the way you word something shouldn’t matter. The deaths spoke for themselves," said Cheryl Price-Collier, the mother of 29-year-old victim Jada Whatley.
The ruling stunned the entire courtroom Friday.
"I thought I misheard," Price-Collier told FOX 5.
The judge decided to dismiss charges of vehicular homicide and failure to maintain a lane against Walker who was accused of killing Whatley and 32 year-old TiQuita Miles back in March.
Whatley’s mother said she felt numb after witnessing her daughter’s killer go home with just probation and a fine—a far cry from the four years in prison he was facing.
"They threw my child away," Price-Collier said. "I’m disappointed. I’m hurt. I’m angry."
She told FOX 5 that the same year she lost Jada, she also lost another daughter in a separate car crash.
Though Jada’s case made it to trial, she said it certainly wasn’t the outcome she hoped for.
"I feel like the judge had no mercy for my child or Ms. Miles," she said.
Walker’s attorney, Jackie Patterson, told FOX 5 though the facts of the case weren’t on his client’s side, the law was.
"If you judge the facts, he would’ve been found guilty in less than a minute," Patterson admitted. "The document [prosecutors] filed did not meet the requirements of Georgia law."
Though, the judge agreed, he said there are no winners in this situation.
"It’s very tragic for the families of the victims in this case," Patterson said.
A spokesperson for the solicitor’s office released the following statement:
"We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and believe that a jury should have decided. Both parties presented case law and the court made its decision. We also respectfully disagree with the sentence on the remaining count. Our prayers remain with the victims and family impacted by this tragedy."