Near-brawl breaks out after court hearing in Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Emotions ran high between two families Wednesday morning inside the Monroe County Hall of Justice.

Sheriff’s deputies stepped in to prevent the families from attacking each other. News10NBC’s Patrick Moussignac was there and has the details.

The families were in court for the scheduled sentencing of 23-year-old Jamila Evans. She was recently convicted for a driving-under-the-influence crash back in June 2021 — that lead to the death of her passenger, 23-year-old Autumn Johnson.

Evans entered to courtroom to be sentenced Wednesday morning. After her hearing was adjourned, an argument broke out between the families of Autumn Johnson and Jamila Evans as they left the courtroom. As one family got into the elevator, members of the other family attempted to fight. Deputies were able to keep them separated and no one was injured.

“Obviously she’s disappointed, but she’s been accepting the fact that some incarceration was a possible outcome from day one,” says Evans’ attorney Jim Hinman.

Back on June 17, 2021, Evans was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when she crashed into an AMR ambulance at the intersection of Central Park and North Goodman Street in Rochester. Her passenger, Johnson, was killed. Wednesday, Evans’ attorney Jim Hinman successfully asked the judge to move the sentencing of Evans until the end of August.

“I will be preparing and submitting to the court a pre-sentence memorandum that will counter some of the things that were in the pre-sentence investigation that the probation department prepared,” Hinman explains.

Hinman says in August he will challenge some of those investigative findings from the crash — including how fast the ambulance was traveling before the crash.

“During the trial, the testimony was that this ambulance was proceeding down Goodman Street at 1:30 in the morning at 67-and-a-half miles an hour — which according to AMR policies, 35 miles an hour over what they would allow,” says Hinman.

Although Evans was not sentenced Wednesday, Hinman is advocating that she serves probation.

“I know that the jury found her to have acted recklessly,” he says. “I don’t believe that was the case then. I don’t believe that’s the case now. I believe that an appellate court will probably disagree with the jury’s conclusions as far is that is concerned.”

At the end of the hearing, Evans was taken into custody and will remain in jail with no bail.