Hit-and-run suspect waives first appearance

by: Carl Willis Updated:

ATLANTA - The 20-year-old driver accused of hitting and killing a married couple, then fleeing the scene, was in court Monday afternoon.

Bryan Butler waived his first appearance but his mother, Ontrella Hicks, talked to Channel 2's Carl Willis.

"I don't want my son to be labeled or them to feel that it's something that he did intentionally, because it's not," she said.

Willis said Butler shed tears when his charges were read.

He's accused of killing 33-year-old William Crumbley and his wife 31-year-old Danya Crumbley.

Atlanta police said the couple were walking home from a gas station early Saturday morning when Butler sped through the intersection of Memorial Drive and Hill Street and hit them.

Some witnesses said it appeared that Butler may have been racing another vehicle, but police could not confirm that.

Family friends visited the scene Saturday, and told Willis that William Crumbley was dedicated to shaping young minds.

"He was really intellectual," said Dale Preiser. "He taught math and he really bonded with the children there and, to him, learning was so important."

Crumbley was a graduate of Georgia State University and most recently taught at Redan High School.

He's survived by his mother, Fulton County Magistrate Judge Sally Cobb Cannon.

His father is Judge Wade Crumbley, with the Flint Judicial Circuit Superior Court in Henry County.

"These are very good families, so my heart just goes out to both of the families and even the young man at this point," said Preiser. "I don't know anything about him, but if he's a good person this is going to impact him for the rest of his life, too."


Police said Butler kept going after the fatal collision, but lost control and wrecked at Memorial Drive and Grant Street.

He's charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, two counts of hit and run, and reckless driving.

"I raised him," said Butler's stepfather Raylen Hicks. "I know he's hurting and he'll do the right thing. The right thing will come out."

Butler's next court appearance is set for Sept. 10.

Crumbley's family will hold a visitation for him Tuesday afternoon.

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