Local News

Story published: 07-09-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Bus driver’s hearing pushed back after lawyer’s sudden death

The bus driver accused of causing a crash that injured 39 high school students made a brief appearance July 8 in Washington County Criminal Court to request another attorney be appointed to represent her after the untimely death of her previous lawyer.

Michael LaGuardia, who died unexpectedly last week, had been scheduled to enter a plea for Brenda Gray, of Jonesborough, and request sentencing during the hearing held Monday morning.

Instead, Gray appeared in court with no lawyer by her side and was called on by Judge Robert Cupp to update the court on her intentions.

When Gray said she was going to have to find another lawyer, Cupp asked if it was her intent to hire an attorney or have one appointed.

When Gray requested court-appointed representation, Cupp advised her to fill out the required affidavit.

After calling Gray to the bench to speak in private regarding her financial situation, Cupp scheduled another hearing for Monday, July 29, to discuss fees still due to LaGuardia’s firm.

Gray is facing a myriad of charges stemming from the Sept. 20, 2012, crash that injured the 39 David Crockett High School students.

A hearing scheduled for March was postponed due to an crowded docket.

LaGuardia then requested additional time during an April 26 hearing to discuss a plea offer from the state with his client.