Chesterfield woman found guilty in bus stop assault

Published: May. 15, 2012 at 9:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield woman found guilty this afternoon of pulling a gun at a school bus stop -- is out of jail. 33-year-old Susan Desantiago was convicted of brandishing a firearm, and assault and battery. She was taken into custody immediately, but has since been released.

Her attorney says he has already filed an appeal to the verdict. Until then, Mrs. Desantiago is back at home. The trial lasted just under 2 hours. In all, 6 witnesses testified.

Desantiago bowed her head and cried as the verdict came down. She claims she feared for her life and pulled a gun in self defense, but a judge disagreed -- finding her guilty on all charges.

Susan Desantiago walked into court Tuesday with her head held high. During testimony she spoke softly about what she says happened on March 12 -- in the 6400 block of Fairpines Road in Chesterfield.

She claims she'd driven by a group of teens several times. Each time the group would yell and curse. At some point Desantiago got out of her car, pulled a gun...and put it against the head of a 16-year-old girl.

That teenager testified that she had just gotten off the school bus and that she did yell and curse at Desantiago because the military wife was allegedly speeding.

The two got into a fight. The gun fell to the ground. Desantiago's husband -- who was driving by-- help break up the fight.

After the trial NBC12 spoke with the victim's mother. She said, "I'm satisfied with the outcome. She did get time. What she did was wrong. It was dangerous."

Desantiago was found guilty of assault and battery and brandishing a firearm. Her defense attorney is disappointed with the outcome.

"I think Mrs. Desantiago had a rational reaction. A reaction many of us could have but a judge felt punishment was warranted," said Defense Attorney Vaughan Jones.

Desantiago has no criminal record. A judge sentenced her to two months and two weeks behind bars.

There was an unusual moment in court today. A judge forcefully addressed the 16-year-old victim -- telling her to stop smirking and laughing while the defendant was testifying. I asked the teen about that after the trial -- she says she was just nervous.

Desantiago is due back in court on the appeal on August 4.

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