A Chester County woman accused of holding police at bay for 61/2 hours this month after pistol-whipping her husband reacted to being held for trial Friday with a courtroom outburst.
"That's not right," Brazzilia Rutherford, 35, of West Caln Township, yelled as she was led away in shackles.
The tirade, which lasted several minutes, occurred after District Judge Michael J. Cabry 3d ruled that the preliminary hearing evidence on charges including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children was sufficient to advance the case to trial.
He also denied a request to reduce Rutherford's $100,000 cash bail.
Rodney Rutherford, the defendant's husband, testified Friday that he was in the basement of the family's Sandy Way home about 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 when his wife came looking for a fight.
He said he tried to avoid her by going to the kitchen, when she pushed him. He said he then retreated to their bedroom and locked the door. "The next thing I know, the door got kicked off the hinges and went flying across the room," he said.
He said his wife then pulled a pistol out of her pocket. "She hauled off and hit me," he testified. "She kept swinging at me. . . . I was afraid she might shoot me."
He testified that while he was calling 911, his wife grabbed a rifle out of a closet. He said he left the house and collapsed in the front yard, where awaiting police found him.
Brazzilia Rutherford stayed in the house with two of the couple's three children and did not surrender until police forced their way in.
Brazzilia Rutherford shook her head as her husband testified, her ponytail bobbing from side to side.
Under cross-examination, Rodney Rutherford said he could not recall what his wife said during the altercation or what provoked her. He said the dispute was "not our first time."
Court records show that West Caln Township police officers, who had been to the Rutherford home on previous occasions, removed the same pistol from the house this year after Rodney Rutherford hid the .380-caliber Bersa from his wife, prompting her to call 911.
In February, she wrote to the court, explaining that she wanted the weapon returned for "the protection of my family and I," a request her husband did not oppose.
Because police had contacted the District Attorney's Office and outlined the household's instability, a hearing was held before Senior Judge Charles B. Smith, who ordered the weapon returned in May.
Asked about that decision after the standoff, Smith said he had followed the law.
"I can only act on the record I have in front of me," the judge said. "Certainly, if I'd been clairvoyant, things might have happened differently."