A Geneva County judge sentenced a man to 30 years in prison for what court officials called a very violent, gruesome attack on his wife while she slept.
After hearing testimony from multiple witnesses, including the victim, Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Quattlebaum sentenced Tony Martin Williams to the 30-year prison term on Thursday morning.
Slocomb police investigators arrested Williams on Jan. 9, 2014, charging him with felony attempted murder. Williams pleaded guilty to the offense in October.
Quattlebaum said he couldn’t recall a more gruesome criminal case in his career.
Kristine Dickens, who described in detail to the court what happened to her, believes she will now be able to move on from what happened to her after the 30-year sentence was announced. Dickens said she and her 7-year-old daughter have moved from the mobile home where the assault happened.
“This was the final closing door,” Dickens said. “Justice was served today.”
Geneva County District Attorney Kirke Adams said he believed the fact that the couple’s 7-year-old daughter witnessed the assault on her mother likely had an impact on the sentence issued by the court.
“It’s a miracle she survived the assault,” Adams said. “I think this country is so caught up in domestic violence, whether it’s an NFL player or what. But what’s getting lost is the children who witness a lot of this violence and what they’re learning about treating the opposite sex.”
Attorney David Harrison, who represented Williams in court, said the defense expected a relatively large sentence because of the facts of the case. Harrison called his client a good father, who took care of his daughter on a daily basis.
“From day one he told the truth,” Harrison said. “Whatever happened that night, I don’t know, and he probably doesn’t know either. He made a mistake. It’s a tragedy.”
Dickens testified during the hearing about how several blows to the back of the head awakened her from sleeping just before 12 a.m. last January.
“I didn’t know what it was,” she said. “At first I thought something was falling from the ceiling and hitting me in the head. I woke up and started screaming ‘call the police’.”
Dickens said she didn’t realize her assailant was Williams until she was struck again. She managed to crawl across the floor to get out of the bedroom. Just as she got out of the room she was pinned against the washing machine where she suffered multiple stab wounds in the chest and stomach area with a knife.
Dickens said the assault only stopped after her daughter came into the room and called out how she loved her “mommy and daddy.”
Dickens also told the court she still has some pain in her fingers from the assault. The assault led to surgery involving the partial amputation of a couple of fingers.
Dr. Bradley Marker, a surgeon at Flowers Hospital, testified during the court hearing how Dickens needed two surgeries as part of her treatment. He said when Dickens arrived at the hospital it appeared she’d had a large portion of her scalp removed, which led to a large amount of blood loss.
Marker testified Dickens lost an estimated 2 liters of blood from the assault.
Slocomb Police Chief Don White testified during the hearing how police found blood throughout the mobile home.
“There was blood on the all four walls and the ceiling of the master bedroom,” White said.
White said an interview with Williams showed he blamed the victim for financial difficulties, which was a possible motive for the assault.