By Lonnie Feather
|On October 3, 2001, my ex-boyfriend shot me. We had known each other eight months and for all appearances he seemed a decent guy. It is still hard to believe even after four years have passed. And, he didn't just shoot me. He brutally assaulted me by choking me until I passed out and when I came to, he hit the top of my head with the butt of his gun. He then aimed it point blank at my head and pulled the trigger four times. Three bullets hit my head, one entering my cheek, shattering my left jaw and traveling through my neck to 'clip' the top of my vertebrae. The second skimmed the top of my head and the third entered and exited the back of my skull leaving multiple fractures. It's amazing that I survived.|
In that violent moment I made a clear decision first to live. Then, secondly, I decided that the only way for me to survive was to outwit him. I didn't think I could fight him and I didn't think that I even had the strength to get up and dash for the door. So I pretended to be dead, slumped on the couch and trying to stay conscious as much as I could while he played games on the computer. He was waiting to get rid of my body under the cover of darkness. And I was waiting for him to make a mistake. So, four hours later, I hear a knock at the front door. I think I hear him step out. Yes. I reached for the phone, dial 911, "I've been shot in the head", gave my address and hung up. He walks back into the house as the 911 dispatcher is calling back. He answers, tries to convince them that nothing is wrong. But he knows he's cornered and it turns into a hostage situation. For three more hours until, finally, he gives himself up and the swat team and paramedics are able to come in and get me.
It was not a typical case of domestic violence, none of the clear signals of escalating abuse and control. I had no clues. He was kind and gentle (or so it seemed), said all the right things, brought me gifts and flowers. He was a normal guy by all appearances. But what I didn't know was that he was deceiving me, manipulating me and that everything was a lie. He was a con man. He was hiding from the law in Texas on several fraud charges, that the gifts he bought me were on credit cards that he deceptively took out in my name, and that his anger and desperation were carefully tucked away under his male veneer. I discovered his deception, confronted him on that day and he apparently decided that the only way out would be to murder me. That's how desperate he was.
But the end of the story is good. I lived, I survived and I get to tell my story.
Charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, Michael Hunter reached a plea agreement and is serving a mandatory 15 years in the Oregon Penitentiary. As part of his plea and at the conclusion of his time in Oregon, he will serve twenty years in the State of Texas for crimes of fraud committed prior to the attempted murder. Texas does not have a mandatory time served and he will receive time off for good behavior or early parole.
|Lonnie Feather is an exceptionally talented and accomplished artist. For more, see her wonderful web page.|