Hearing waived in vehicular deaths case


Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson and the families and friends of three teenagers killed in August when they were hit by a car, listen to Magistrate Betrice Scott's announcement Thursday that accused- driver Priscilla Johnson decided to waive her preliminary hearing.

A Lithonia driver charged with the deaths of three teenage pedestrians last month did not make a planned court appearance Thursday afternoon, choosing instead to waive her preliminary hearing.

Priscilla Dianne Johnson, 48, faces multiple felonies in the deaths of the teens, Octavius Sorrells and Timothy Aaron, both 17, and Antonious Bishop, 16. Police said the three were walking along Ga. 138 near I-675 when a car plowed into them. Johnson is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail.

Johnson was due in court for a preliminary hearing, which would have exposed the state's evidence against her. Clayton County police and prosecutors were ready to present testimony when Johnson's attorney, Angela Brown Dillon, told Magistrate Betrice Scott she wanted to talk to her client.

After conferring behind closed doors, Dillon returned to the courtroom and told Scott the hearing would be waived.

Police said Johnson was under the influence of medication and arguing on a cell phone at the time of the crash. According to arrest warrants, Johnson kept driving after hitting the three teens, stopping only when she hit a light pole. When police arrived, Johnson allegedly got into the driver's seat of a patrol car, pulled away violently from officers and wouldn't follow commands, warrants allege.

-- Kathy Jefcoats