(Scroll down for video) A man was set free despite the fact that 15 people were killed when he crashed his bus on the way home from a casino, according to court proceedings.
Casino bus driver Ophadell Williams, escaped 15 manslaughter charges and will only have to pay a small fine for the horrific Bronx, New York crash that killed 15 people.
In the stunning verdict in Bronx Supreme Court, Williams, 42, was convicted of only one misdemeanor charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He had faced up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the tragedy.
"He is still responsible for the accident because he was the driver," a surprised Florence Wong, whose 76-year-old father, Don Lee, died in the accident, said. "He remains responsible for the loss of life."
A man who lost a relative in the accident said: "It is clear that 15 people were killed and no one will pay criminally. It's an outrage." As the not guilty verdicts were recited, Williams, who looked anxious in the beginning, loosened his hands that were tightly clenched.
When counsel Patrick Bruno said he was going home, Williams's eyes filled with tears as he whispered: "Thank you."
In addition to the fine of $500, equivalent to about $33 per person killed, Judge Troy Webber sentenced Williams to 30 days behind bars, time he has already served. Williams has spent 15 months in jail awaiting trial.
Williams was then taken to a waiting room without his handcuffs. He left about 10 minutes later and hopped into a waiting car, simply saying thank you to the accumulated media waiting outside the courthouse.
He later returned to his home in Brooklyn, New York, and hugged his waiting family.
Jurors quickly dispersed after the conclusion of the trial..