School bus driver pleads guilty to manslaughter charge

Willie Leonberger, 78, Auxvasse, Monday pleaded guilty to involuntary second-degree manslaughter after he was accused last January of running over and killing a North Callaway School student with a school bus he was driving.

Leonberger appeared in Callaway County Circuit Court for arraignment Monday before Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter.

Three days earlier, Leonberger was bound over to Circuit Court after he had appeared before Associate Circuit Court Judge Carol England. On Friday Leonberger had waived his preliminary hearing in Associate Circuit Court.

Judge Carpenter ruled Leonberger’s guilty plea on Monday “was entered freely and voluntarily with the understanding of the nature of the charge, range of punishment and the consequences.”

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