Dauphin County Jury Convicts Harrisburg Woman of Aggravated Assault in a Road Rage Incident
September 28, 2018- Commonwealth v. Lavaesha Messer: On September 28, 2018, a Dauphin County Jury convicted Lavaesha Messer of Aggravated Assault for stabbing her neighbor in the hand, rejecting her claim that she had acted in self-defense. The incident occurred on the 2300 block of Logan Street in Harrisburg City during the early morning hours of July 16, 2016. The fight started over Messer’s vehicle blocking the one way street. The victim and his mother, after waiting for her to move the vehicle, beeped their car’s horn to let Messer know they were behind her. Instead of just moving her vehicle, Messer got out of her car, starting an argument that escalated to a fist fight where Messer and her sister were engaged in an altercation with the victim’s mother. When the victim intervened, Messer pulled a knife, stabbing the victim in the hand.
At, trial, Messer claimed that she feared for her own safety and pulled the knife to defend herself. The jury found that her use of deadly force was unjustified, convicting her of an aggravated assault charge of causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Sentencing is scheduled before the Honorable Judge Richard A. Lewis on November 14, 2018.
This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Katie Adam and investigated by Officer Gregory Hill of the Harrisburg Bureau of Police. “This incident shows how quickly a minor traffic incident can be escalated to a dangerous and violent situation when tempers flare.”