An Alexandria General District Court judge yesterday found Dorothy Turner, a telephone company clerk, guilty of assault and battery on a reporter for the Alexandria Gazette.
Judge Daniel F. O'Flaherty sentenced Turner, who lives in the John Roberts Homes public housing project in Alexandria, to one day in jail for the offense, but then suspended the sentence after noting that this was Turner's first conviction.
Margaret L. Ryan, a city government reporter for the Gazette, told the judge she was attacked by Turner on May 31 after a meeting of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which Ryan was covering for her paper.
Shortly after the meeting, Ryan said Turner, a member of the Alexandria Tenant Council board, criticized Ryan's stories about the board and called her an obsence name.
After the meeting, Ryan testified, she went to a small room that contains a soda machine to return a Coke bottle. Turner followed her, shoved her and hit her with her fist, Ryan testified. She pressed charges against Turner the next afternoon, she said.
Turner denied. Ryan's assertions. Turner testified that Ryan started the fight, after asking her if she wanted an assault charge filed against her.