Crime

Jury can’t reach a verdict in child rape trial of former Olympia school bus driver

Jimmy Wall (second from right) appeared for trial Nov. 8 in Thurston County Superior Court. He is represented by attorney Wayne Fricke (right). The case is being heard by Judge Chris Lanese.
Jimmy Wall (second from right) appeared for trial Nov. 8 in Thurston County Superior Court. He is represented by attorney Wayne Fricke (right). The case is being heard by Judge Chris Lanese. adickson@theolympian.com

The trial of Jimmy Wall, a former Olympia school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting a former student, ended in a mistrial Wednesday after a 12-person jury was unable to reach a verdict.

The jury deliberated for 11 hours, but were unable to reach a unanimous decision as to Wall’s guilt. Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese said that testimony in the trial lasted about seven hours.

“This is a part of our system, this happens,” Lanese said of the outcome.

Wall, 51, was charged in 2016 with four counts of first-degree child rape and two counts of first-degree child molestation. He was accused of sexually assaulting a then-10-year-old boy who attended Madison Elementary School during and after the 2007-2008 school year.

Wall could be tried again if the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office decides to refile charges.

The alleged victim in the case, now 20, accused Wall and another former Olympia school bus driver of sexually assulting him during geocaching trips. Both he and Wall testified during the case, with Wall denying all of the allegations.

The Olympian typically doesn’t name victims in criminal cases.

In September, the other former bus driver, Gary Shafer, was charged jointly in the criminal case. Shafer, 39, already is serving 14-1/2 years to life after pleading guilty to child molestation and child pornography charges. Shafer faces four counts of first-degree child rape. The new allegations against Shafer involve the same alleged victim as in Wall’s case.

Amelia Dickson: 360-754-5445, @Amelia_Oly

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