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Harrisburg woman convicted of aggravated assault stemming from 2016 road rage incident

DAUPHIN COUNTY — A Dauphin County jury convicted a Harrisburg woman of aggravated assault stemming from a road-rage incident in 2016, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

The jury rejected a claim from Lavaesha Messer, who said she acted in self-defense in the incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of July 16, 2016 on the 2300 block of Logan Street in Harrisburg.

According to testimony, the incident began when Messer blocked a one-way street with her car. The victim and his mother were in a car behind her, waiting for her to move her vehicle. The victim beeped his horn at Messer to let her know they were behind her. Instead of moving her car, Messer got out of her vehicle and began arguing with the victim. The argument escalated to a fistfight that included Messer, her sister, and the victim’s mother.

When the victim intervened, Messer pulled a knife and stabbed him in the hand.

Messer claimed that she was in fear for her own safety and used the knife to defend herself, but the jury found her use of deadly force was unjustified, and convicted her of an aggravated assault charge of causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon.

Messer will be sentenced by Judge Richard A. Lewis on Nov. 14.