School shuttle service owner driving without a valid license

HOUSTON -- The woman who left five children outside a Southwest Houston fast food restaurant should never have been behind the wheel in the first place, an I-Team review of records has found.

Latonya Jackson, 34, was driving with an invalid license, since October 2013, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. She also had no liability insurance since September 2013.

A review of municipal court records from the City of Houston and City of Stafford show Jackson has a dozen outstanding violations and three open traffic warrants. Records show she failed to appear in court for offenses like running stop signs, no insurance, driving with an expired license, and allowing children to ride without seatbelts.

And her brushes with the law don't stop there. An array of jail booking photos date back more than a decade. In Harris County, Jackson was convicted of stealing things like electronics, clothing and cash money. Her latest theft conviction was a felony. In Brazoria county, Jackson had two convictions for forgery, but details of those cases were not immediately available.

As for the Wednesday carjacking incident, the Harris County District Attorney's Office initially declined to file charges, but a spokesman said it is still reviewing the case that sent parents into a panic.

"If you see my child, please bring my baby home," said mother Sonya Mims shortly after the carjacking.

"I can't even imagine why somebody would do that," grandmother Sheila Hall said of Jackson leaving the children alone.

Jackson's driving and criminal histories raise serious questions about the oversight of school shuttle bus services. But her business, JBT Transportation, appears to fall outside state regulation. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles said it has authority over commercial school buses and vans that carry 15 passengers or more.

Jackson's vehicle to shuttle school kids was an SUV.


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