STOCKTON, CA - A Stockton woman charged with murder for driving her car into a 3-year-old boy during an argument with another woman was found guilty by a Stockton jury Wednesday afternoon.
Aushua McDuff-Brown, 23, was convicted of second-degree murder with an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon (her car) in the Oct. 3, 2011 death of Ruben Ramirez. Jurors also found her guilty of hit and run resulting in death and the attempted murder of Shakara Daan, the woman she was fighting with and her intended target, according to the prosecution.
Ramirez was pinned between McDuff-Brown's car and a mini-mart at 748 North Madison Street. McDuff-Brown fled the scene and was captured days later in Southern California.
The prosecution alleged McDuff-Brown and another woman had a confrontation and the defendant intended to run over Daan, instead hitting the boy. Ramirez's family said they still don't understand the argument between McDuff-Brown and Daan that resulted in Ramirez's death. The family said listening to the details in court, "It just sounded like they were fighting over nonsense."
"She let her emotions get the best of her," said the victim's mother, Deleshia Mason, after the verdict was read. "Her anger. And it killed an innocent person."
The jury didn't believe Ramirez's murder and the attack on Daan were premeditated. McDuff-Brown will be sentenced on Dec. 10 and could face life in prison.
Ramirez's aunt, Diana Bernal, said the verdict brings justice, but little comfort to the family.
"It's bittersweet, because we have to go to the cemetery to visit Ruben," Bernal said.