Suspended sentence in bus driver assault case

January 22, 2008 5:26:41 PM PST
A Wake County parent apologizes for calling a school bus driver the "N-word," but then gets jail time for his assault conviction. The judge suspended the sentence, but the defendant did not go quietly outside of court.

A blocked car in the Cary Elementary School parking lot triggered Derry Schmidt to hurl a racial slur a bus driver Jametta Farrar.

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

Tuesday morning, Schmidt offered a courtroom apology or sorts, "I'm sorry for the way I spoke to you," Schmidt told the Farrar and the court. "I should not have referred to you that way. You should not have boxed me in. And you should not have yelled and screamed at me. But that did not give me a free ticket to yell and curse at you, use the "F" word. Use the "N" word. I apologize to you. I apologize to everyone in this courtroom. I apologize to everyone in North Carolina."

A judge then sentenced Schmidt to 75-days of jail, but suspended the jail time for three years as long as Schmidt stays out of trouble. A jury had already convicted Schmidt of assaulting a female for bumping the bus driver with his car.

But apologies aside, the Schmidt and the victim, Jametta Farrar exchanged words outside of court. "She was extremely hostile, belligerent, antagonistic," Schmidt said.

Farrar said in response to Schmidt's apology, "He wasn't sincere at all. He continued to lie. He continues to lie, saying the same thing that did not happen."

As a part of Schmidt's sentence, he must undergo 25-days of house arrest and an anger management class. When asked if he had an anger problem, Schmidt replied. "Do I have an anger management problem?? I don't have a problem getting angry."

The bus driver says she has sought therapy and has still not gone back to work.

The 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.


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