PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former Philadelphia principal credited with turning around a city charter school is accused of a deadly crime. Jovan Weaver was recently charged in a fatal hit-and-run. He had his first day in court on Tuesday.
A 58-year-old man was killed in that hit-and-run. After court Tuesday, the victim’s heartbroken family confronted the man suspected of being behind the wheel in that deadly crash.
“Stop and call the cops. You’re killing people, hitting somebody and keeping on going. You could have saved someone’s life,” sister of the victim Tonya Rodgers said.
More than a year after her brother’s death, Rodgers is still emotional.
Thirty-seven-year-old Weaver left the Criminal Justice Center in Center City Tuesday afternoon, saying nothing. He’s accused of crashing into 58-year-old Anthony Rodgers in December 2017 and leaving the scene.
Security video shows Rodgers crossing the intersection at 54th Street and City Avenue before being hit and left to die.
But outside the Criminal Justice Center, Weaver’s attorney insisted he is taking responsibility.
“Mr. Weaver is deeply sorry, saddened and haunted by his role in this sad, tragic event,” attorney Fortunato Perri said.
But Rodgers’ grief-stricken family believes Weaver tried to cover up the crime. That’s because police later found the red Lexus allegedly involved in the hit-and-run ditched in North Philadelphia.
Officers found blood on the outside of the car and say it looked like someone tried torching it.
“He tried to destroy the evidence. If he got away with destroying the evidence, he would have continued to walk away and go on with his life,” a second family member of Rodgers said.
Weaver was a well-regarded principal at John Wister Elementary School in Germantown, but more than a year since the crash, Weaver was charged with vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence in April.
Officials at the charter school got wind of the accusations last week and Weaver resigned the following day.
Mastery Charter Schools officials released a statement stating Weaver was placed on administrative leave last week after the school was notified of the charges.
“We were upset and deeply disturbed to learn that the principal of our Mastery Wister Elementary, Jovan Weaver, has been charged with vehicular homicide and related offenses. We learned the news of his arrest last week and immediately placed Mr. Weaver on administrative leave to investigate. Mr. Weaver resigned the following day and is no longer a Mastery employee. He informed staff on Friday, June 14 and parents were notified on Monday, June 17. This is a very sad day for the Wister community. Mr. Weaver did an outstanding job leading the school’s turnaround for the past three years. Students, parents and staff spoke often about their love and admiration for him. We recognize that this is a terrible, terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to the family who lost a loved one,” Mastery Charter Schools said in a statement.
Weaver is free on bail.