Driver Pleads Guilty - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Driver Pleads Guilty

Posted: Updated:

He showed up for traffic court, was transferred to criminal court and left that courtroom a guilty man.

It was an unexpected twist to a case we first told you about one month ago.  

The charge in question may only be a misdemeanor, but the incident it relates to altered the trajectory of a young man's life.

Surveillance video shows what happened on December 14th.

19 year-old Omar Ayyeh backs up a 2003 ford explorer in the parking lot of Hall High school.

Ayyeh stops for several seconds…and then accelerates at a crowd of students.

All but one of the students managed to avoid getting hit.  

But 17 year-old Davonte Hokes zigged when he should have zagged.

The impact sends him flying, then rolling.

Nine months later Ayyeh appears in court and agrees to plead guilty to a charge of 3rd degree battery.

Sentencing will be Thursday.

Davonte and his family are hoping for both justice and answers.

"I want to know why," says Sharon Smith, Davonte's mother.  "Why did he target this group of students?  Wanting to know what they plan on doing about the medical expenses. Letting them know how they have changed Davonte's life."

The hope of an athletic scholarship to help pay for college is gone as Davonte waits for a meniscus transplant…his left knee ravaged by the accident.

The harshest of sentences will still result in less than a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.00.

"As long as justice is served then I don't have a problem with it," says Hokes.

Attorney Lott Rolfe did not allow his client to visit with us after the hearing.

Rolfe said Mr. Ayyeh may answer questions following Thursday's sentencing.

We reported last that six prosecutors had reviewed this case and they all agreed the evidence didn't support a criminal charge.

Ms. Smith says things changed after both KATV and Congressman Tim Griffin's office got involved.  Another review of the surveillance video and witness statements kicked it from traffic court to criminal court.

Air date:  Sept. 10th, 2012