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Fishersville Woman’s Felony Assault Conviction Vacated - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fishersville Woman’s Felony Assault Conviction Vacated

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An Augusta County case involving a Fishersville family, the sheriff's office and a battle with their legal counsel may now come to a close.

Judy Gayle Desetti was found guilty of a felony charge for assaulting an officer in 2010, but that conviction has now been thrown out the window.

Tuesday, the judge vacated that conviction on the grounds that Desetti did not have proper legal counsel from her former attorney.

It was an emotional day in court as she and her new lawyer brought up a whole host of problems they saw with her trial. Desetti argued that she was not properly informed of multiple attempts by the commonwealth's attorney to enter a plea deal. Because Desetti didn't take the offer, she ended up serving jail time and losing her nursing job.

The old attorney, Francis Chester, represented the entire family, and that joint representation was another complaint.

Throughout the civil case, Chester said he believes he did everything to keep the Desettis informed, and that Judy Desetti was too stubborn to accept the plea deal.

"I was very disappointed by the decision. I felt that all along, the clients were adequately - more than adequately - informed as to the offers that were given," Chester said. "In a way I'm happy that she doesn't have a felony conviction."

This all goes back to when an Augusta County deputy came to Desetti's house looking for her son, and she fought back at the entrance of the home. Her son and husband still have misdemeanor charges related to the scuffle.

Just because this charge was vacated doesn't mean she will not still face charges. The prosecution now has 90 days to decide whether to let the issue die or file a new charge and start the trial all over again.

It's still a win for the Desettis as she is at this time no longer considered a felon.

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