Family of school crossing guard urge judge to deny bond for her killer

The family of a beloved Mableton crossing guard struck by a speeding vehicle while directing traffic last November showed up in full force Wednesday at a bond hearing for the driver.

The hearing for Lamonte Whitaker, 38, was delayed when his attorney failed to show up. Channel 2 Action News reports Whitaker’s lawyer was tied up in another court case.

Crossing guard Edna Umeh was hit and killed early Thursday as she directed traffic outside Lindley Middle School in Mableton. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

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Police and a witness said Whitaker swerved around stopped traffic and into the center turn lane, where he struck  Edna Umeh while driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit in the center turn lane, according to an arrest warrant. Umeh’s death was observed by several students at Lindley Middle School.

RELATED: Family of Cobb crossing guard: 'Whatever it takes' to improve safety

“It would’ve been my first opportunity to see Mr. Whitaker face to face,” Umeh’s son, Rahim Tarver, told Channel 2. Tarver said he wants Whitaker to remember the faces of his family, “to see what he done to me.”

The family opposes bond for Whitaker.

“He knew what he was doing,” Tarver told Channel 2. “It was intentional.”

Also on Wednesday, workers from the Cobb County and Georgia departments of transportation conducted a safety audit on a 3.5 mile stretch of Veterans Memorial Highway where Umeh was killed. Her death has led to calls for authorities to address what many believe is a dangerous stretch of the highway.

"Edna's Bill" has been introduced in the General Assembly and would allow the use of speed detection devices by police employed as security officers at Georgia's public schools.