ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- There were legal fireworks Thursday morning inside an Orange County courtroom in what should have been a standard plea hearing in the case of two Orange County EMS workers being brutally attacked on the job.

In court, the judge said this was the most violent attack he's seen without a death involved, and that's why he said no to the offered plea deal.

Back in January of 2021, Dottie DiLiddo and Randy Williams were sent to the home of alleged attacker Cierra Johnson for a medical emergency. 

While trying to take Johnson to the hospital, DiLiddo and Williams say she brutally attacked them. 

“She turned around and grabbed me by the back of the head, she slammed my head into the metal bar of the cot. She then threw me to the floor and proceeded to punch me and kick me,” DiLiddo said. 

Thursday's plea deal was for Johnson to serve six months under house arrest, but the judge said no.

"It was very unexpected and it's a good sign," DiLiddo said. 

This comes after the hearing had been continued four times in the last 23 months. 

During the hearing Thursday, the judge said he was not only unsatisfied with the agreement, but that he was concerned that Johnson was out on bail at all.  When on the stand, DiLiddo was asked specifically why she did a story with CBS19 News in October.  She responded that she felt her voice wasn't being heard, and she felt the community needed to know what was happening.

After hearing the victims' impact statements and taking a short break, the judge came back and told DiLiddo he was glad that she had her voice heard, and then rejected the plea deal altogether.

Another wrinkle in the case is that the Commonwealth's Attorney who negotiated the deal, Diana O'Connell, lost the election this fall.  There will be a new Commonwealth's Attorney in Orange County before this case is in a courtroom again, which could dramatically change the outcome.

Johnson is scheduled to be back in court next month.