Daishonta Williams
Photo: Allegheny County Jail
Photo: Allegheny County Jail

Woman pleads guilty to assaulting Pittsburgh teacher after school conference

Daishonta Williams believed teacher Janice Watkins choked her 10-year-old daughter after an altercation over the girl's cellphone at Pittsburgh King Pre-K-8 in October 2017.

That led to a conference at the school.

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After the conference, Williams and her boyfriend, Vincent Beasley, followed Watkins as she left the school and approached her as she sat in a car at the West End Bridge.

Williams then allegedly threw a brick at Watkins through the driver's side window and assaulted her. Watkins told police Beasley "pulled her head back by yanking her hair.”

Williams' attorney, Blaine Jones, said Williams hit Watkins with her fist, not a brick.

"She made a serious mistake, she's owned that mistake and she's asking for forgiveness," said Blaine Jones, her attorney. "She said she lost her cool she got caught up in the moment."

The teacher who was hit is still off the job and has been out of the classroom since the assault last year.

Beasley's attorney told WPXI Beasley was initially trying to break up the assault.

"He wasn't involved in the attack on the teacher," said Al Burke, his attorney. "From the beginning he was trying to get between the two of them and break it up."

According to the prosecutor, however, Beasley eventually joined Williams in the assault, which was caught on camera by motorists.

That video, according to the prosecutor, showed Beasley pulling Watkins' hair from behind.

"He's not trying to absolve himself of the crime as much as he's tried to explain what happened in that moment," Burke said.

In a plea deal, Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and conspiracy. Beasley also pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Sentencing is scheduled for February.

Williams faces a minimum of two years in prison.