By Matthew Jackonen, For The Daily
Published October 4, 2012
Antoine James, the former University bus driver who attempted to steal a University bus last month, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Thursday in the 14-A District Court.
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James, who is also a former University student, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count or Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property, which has a maximum sentence of a year in jail or a $2,000 fine. James was originally charged with Unlawfully Driving Away in a Vehicle, which is a felony offense.
At 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 21, James was pulled over. by a University Police officer on Interstate 94 near Ypsilanti. The officer was alerted to James's theft after he stopped a current University bus driver who was speeding to follow James.
In court Thursday, District Judge Ann Mattson asked James why he stole the bus, noting her question was “just out of curiosity.”
James did not reveal a specific reason for attempting to steal the bus, but he did tell the judge being unemployed has been difficult.
“It has been a stressful year looking for work, but hopefully that changes today,” James said. “I was under a lot of stress.”
James declined to comment further when approached outside of the courtroom. At his arraignment last month, James told the court he has been unemployed for about a year, and that he is living with family and does not have a car.
District Judge Elizabeth Hines will sentence James on Nov. 2.
—Correction Appended: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article misstated the court where the hearing took place. The article also misstated the date of the attempted bus theft