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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A case involving the brutal attack of a Pittsburgh elementary school teacher, fueled by a dispute over a student’s cell phone, is almost closed.
The teacher was driving home when she was suddenly hit in the head with a brick and punched several times. Now, the student’s mother and her boyfriend have pleaded guilty in the assault.
The teacher, Janice Watkins, still has not returned to the classroom. She was also not in court on Wednesday to witness the guilty pleas.
KDKA is told that she is still suffering from the effects of the concussion.
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After leaving work at Pittsburgh King Elementary School on the North Side last year, Watkins was driving along Ohio River Boulevard when authorities say the mother of one of her student’s started attacking her.
“She feels terrible about this. She said that she lost her cool, she got caught up in the moment,” said attorney Blaine Jones, who represents Dai’Shonta Williams.
Williams was said to be upset about Watkins taking away her daughter’s cell phone at school.
“She tremendously regrets her actions that day. She wrote a three-page letter to the judge a couple months ago, basically apologizing to Ms. Watkins,” said Jones.
Vincent Beasley was dating Williams at the time and had driven her to the spot near the West End Bridge where she went after Watkins.
“My client got out of the car later and approached the two. He said all along he was trying to break up the incident,” said attorney Al Burke, who represents Beasley.
Both Williams and Beasley have accepted responsibility for the attack, pleading guilty to felony aggravated assault and conspiracy charges.
“The little girl who was involved with the teacher in the beginning is not his child, and he was not at the school. He was just driving later on,” said Burke.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas Reports:
Williams also pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats.
“She made a serious mistake. She’s owned that mistake and she’s asking for forgiveness,” said Jones.
“He’s not trying to absolve himself of the crime as much as he’s just trying to explain what happened in that moment,” said Burke.
The two will be sentenced for the crimes on Feb. 4.
KDKA learned that there is also video evidence of the attack that has not been made part of the record yet; and therefore, not public. We expect it to be played at the sentencing.