Judge Upholds Conviction Of Canton Bus Driver
A judge has refused to toss out the February 2011 conviction of former Canton school bus driver Richard Stemples.
In a seven-page decision, St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome Richards made his decision despite arguments raised by Stemples' lawyer.
Among other things, the lawyer argued that evidence wasn't "legally sufficient" to support a guilty verdict to a charge of unsafe lane change in Piercefield town court.
Stemples kept the bus upright and no one was seriously hurt in the crash.
When 7 News spoke with Stemples a few days after the crash, he said, "I did what I felt I had to do."
Stemples was fired by the school district soon after the accident.
Felony charges against him were dismissed after toxicology tests proved he did not have alcohol or illegal drugs in his system.
Prosecutors took the case to trial and won an unsafe lane change conviction.
They argued Stemples veered off the roadway because he was allegedly impaired by his use of prescription medication.
After reviewing town court transcripts, Richards upheld Stemples' conviction, ruling that alleged inconsistent statements he made"raises concerns about the consistency and credibility of his statements and testimony."
When asked for comment, Stemples said he hadn't seen the court's ruling and wanted to confer with his attorney first.
7 News has learned an arbitrator has ruled in Stemples' favor and the school district has filed an appeal asking for the arbitrators ruling to be vacated.
Sunday, May 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
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