Lawyers representing fired teacher challenge her conviction for tirade that went viral
BATON ROUGE – A teacher who lost her job after she was seen on video waving a bat and a firearm at a family that was driving through her flooded neighborhood are challenging her guilty conviction by a jury citing procedural mistakes.
Bridgette Digerolamo, 41, was convicted on three counts of misdemeanor aggravated assault with a firearm. She previously faced felony charges in the case, and her tirade caught on video went viral.
Court minutes show the jury in her case came back last month initially with a “not guilty” verdict. However, the jury indicated they had questions and made a mistake. When it was all said and done, the verdict was rendered as guilty.
Digerolamo’s lawyers said once the “not guilty” verdict was read into the record, court was dismissed. They said the not guilty verdict is the one that should stand, not the one that was discovered after mistakes were made and re-read into the record.
Digerolamo was first arrested in July 2020 after the video started circulating on social media. It showed her waving a bat and then pointing a handgun at the family’s car as they drove through the flooded street in front of her house.
At the time, sources told WBRZ that Digerolamo’s family had recently finished repairing damage from another flooding event, and she was irate about passing cars pushing water onto her property.
Demetra Turner-Louis, who was in the car, said she and her family were just driving home.
“You don’t play with guns and threaten people,” Turner-Louis said after the encounter. “If we had a gun it could have been a different outcome. To witness my child screaming and seeing this, and I’m outside the car, I don’t know her state of mind. She could have shot me.”
In light of Digerolamo appealing her conviction, Turner-Louis said, “My family is ready for closure and hoping justice is served. Mrs. Digerolamo has yet to show remorse or offer so much as an apology, which speaks so much volume. This latest tactic of appealing the jury decision says she really doesn’t get that she was wrong on so many levels and she needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent on all three counts.”
WBRZ reached out to Digerolamo’s defense lawyers who said, “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the judge, however we believe that the jury acquitted our client. We believe they found her not guilty and wish to honor their decision by filing this motion.”