Jury finds parent not guilty of hate crime

January 16, 2008 5:31:57 PM PST
A Wake County jury found a Cary parent not guilty of a hate crime.

A jury found Derry Schmidt guilty of misdemeanor assault on a female, not guilty of hate crime and not guilty of assault on a school employee.

For the first time, Schmidt told his side of the story, admitting he used the N-word.

He admits it was a poor choice of words, but he says what physically happened with his car and with the driver was not a hate crime.

Using toy buses, Schmidt and his attorney showed the court how he says a Wake County school bus driver kept him from moving his car at Cary Elementary school -- where he had just dropped off his daughter.

"I couldn't understand why it happened, I just wanted to get to work," Schmidt said. "I was running late."

He says he honked his horn at bus driver Jametta Farrar, asking her to move. She started yelling so he fired back.

"I was walking toward my car, I looked over my left shoulder and, said 'Just move the f***ing bus n****r,'" Schmidt testified.

Defense attorney Tommy Manning asked Schmidt," So, you did say the word n****r?"

"One time," Schmidt replied.

Prosecutor Christy Joyce said Farrar, "testified that she was shocked and then testified that the defendant got into his car, and she then felt him hit her from behind. And she fell back onto the car. The defendant got out of the car, jerked her by her arm onto the ground then dragged her to the side of the car."

The prosecutor went on the tell the court Schmidt then yelled, "Good luck n****r!"

Schmidt says he did hit her. He claims once he was able to maneuver his car between buses, Farrar sat on his hood to keep him from driving.

"As I motioned for her to get off of my car, she grabbed my wrist," Schmidt said. "She was yelling at me, 'Hit me! Hit me!'"

Schmidt says he used the word once and that no assault occurred. He says he didn't hit Farrar with his car and that she got physical first.


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