Case against DUI suspect who allegedly almost killed VWU professor to head to trial

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The case against a man accused of driving drunk and nearly killing a beloved Virginia Wesleyan University professor and her husband will now head to a higher court.

On Friday, Robert Thompson waived his preliminary hearing, allowing the case to move to the Virginia Beach Circuit Court, where the case will be tried.

“It was weird to see him,” said Kathy Jackson, the professor who was involved in the crash.

This was the first time Kathy Jackson and her husband, Joe, had a chance to see the man who police say nearly took their lives.

“It was good to actually see him in the flesh,” Joe Jackson added.

The Jacksons weren’t able to talk with Thompson, but they still have so many questions.

“I want to know what led him up to that night,” Joe Jackson said.  “What led him up to hitting us at the corner? I want to know more about his history.”

Police say Thompson was driving drunk and speeding down Northampton Boulevard on February 7. The Jacksons were stopped at a light when they were hit from behind.

“We are getting better, but it’s been very slow and we still have some issues from the impact,” Kathy Jackson added. “I still have back pain. Joe still has intermittent swelling and leg pain.”

The couple spent weeks in the hospital.

“From what we’ve been told it could take up to a year for everything to be back to normal,” Joe Jackson said.

The most serious charge of DUI maiming against Thompson will now head to circuit court along with charges of DUI, driving on a suspended license, using fictitious plates and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

The Jacksons say they are now looking forward to his trial.

“When something like this happens to you, you want to make as much sense of it as you possibly can,” Joe Jackson added.   

“We want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to somebody else,” Kathy Jackson said. “We want this to be handled so people like Robert Thompson can get the care that they need when they need to so things like this don’t continue to happen.”

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