NJ bus monitor facing charges in choking death of 6-year-old to face grand jury

Amanda Davila’s defense counsel says there is “a lot of blame to go around” and that he’s looking forward to his client’s day in court.

Isabel Litterst and Lanette Espy

Sep 15, 2023, 5:05 PM

Updated 273 days ago

Share:

Amanda Davila, the school monitor charged with manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in connection to the death of 6-year-old Fajr Williams on a school bus, will face a grand jury for second-degree manslaughter and child endangerment charges.
Davila was in court Friday for a pre-indictment conference where both her lawyer and the prosecution stated that they do not plan to enter into a plea agreement at this time. A judge previously released her on conditions without bail pending trial.
Williams, who was nonverbal, died on the school bus after she slipped and the harness on her wheelchair blocked her airways. Davila is seen in a video in the front of the school bus looking at her phone with headphones on while Williams is strangled by a harness.
Michael Policastro, defense counsel, says there is “a lot of blame to go around” and that he’s looking forward to his client’s day in court.
“We all know what a tragedy this is. And we all know, no matter what, my client was still an aide on the bus, and you can always assign blame,” Policastro said.
Policastro said he hasn’t received all the evidence yet, but based on the video he has seen, he doesn’t believe his client is responsible for Fajr’s death. He said he would consider a plea deal that drops the manslaughter charges, but he doesn’t expect the prosecution to agree to that.
Najmah Nash, Fajr’s mother, is working to pass a law in her daughter’s name to hopefully increase security on school buses and prevent tragedies like what happened to her daughter from happening again.
News 12 New Jersey spoke with Nash, who said she is putting her trust in the grand jury.
“I believe that this is the right course to take,” Nash said. “The loss that I’ve endured is unfathomable, and I don’t want anyone else to go through what me and my family is going through.”
Davila doesn’t have a scheduled court appearance as of now. If she is indicted, then the judge will set a trial date.


More from News 12
0:26
Authorities: Paramus man obtained COVID-19 relief loans for business that closed before pandemic

Authorities: Paramus man obtained COVID-19 relief loans for business that closed before pandemic

0:58
Warm, sunny weekend for New Jersey; heat wave likely next week

Warm, sunny weekend for New Jersey; heat wave likely next week

1:43
Severe thunderstorms on Friday cause damage across New Jersey

Severe thunderstorms on Friday cause damage across New Jersey

1:02
Police: Armed suspect barricaded at Woodbridge gas station

Police: Armed suspect barricaded at Woodbridge gas station

0:53
New Jersey will soon see a stretch of 90-degree days. Here’s how to stay safe

New Jersey will soon see a stretch of 90-degree days. Here’s how to stay safe

0:38
Jersey Proud: Battleship New Jersey comes to Paulsboro this weekend before heading back to Camden

Jersey Proud: Battleship New Jersey comes to Paulsboro this weekend before heading back to Camden

2:01
Police in New Jersey say burglars are using Wi-Fi jammers to target homes. Here's what you need to know.

Police in New Jersey say burglars are using Wi-Fi jammers to target homes. Here's what you need to know.

1:05
Wyckoff native Kevin Jonas diagnosed with skin cancer

Wyckoff native Kevin Jonas diagnosed with skin cancer

0:31
NJ attorney general: Identities of officers, suspect in Woodbridge shootout released

NJ attorney general: Identities of officers, suspect in Woodbridge shootout released

0:24
Pulaski Skyway to close in both directions this weekend

Pulaski Skyway to close in both directions this weekend

1:13
Local veterans receive donated cars on Flag Day

Local veterans receive donated cars on Flag Day

2:13
Boating expert offers tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer

Boating expert offers tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer

1:52
Water service restored to Newark apartment buildings after days without service

Water service restored to Newark apartment buildings after days without service

0:27
Cat rescued from a tree in Jackson Township

Cat rescued from a tree in Jackson Township

2:02
About 70 firefighters help put out fire that damaged 2 Middlesex homes

About 70 firefighters help put out fire that damaged 2 Middlesex homes

0:23
Police: 1 arrested in undercover prostitution, drug investigation at Secaucus go-go bar

Police: 1 arrested in undercover prostitution, drug investigation at Secaucus go-go bar

2:03
A legacy lives on: This Father's Day, a NJ coach turns to the lessons from his dad

A legacy lives on: This Father's Day, a NJ coach turns to the lessons from his dad

0:29
Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

1:58
What shows do the Tony Award nominees want to see? This is what they said.

What shows do the Tony Award nominees want to see? This is what they said.