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BY DAYNA WORCHEL
Misty Wages said she was “petrified and dazed” as she tried to find help after the incident, walking from her car into the FRESH by Brookshire's store on Old Jacksonville Highway.
The sometimes emotional testimony from Ms. Wages came on the first day of the trial for William McKnight Easley, 34, who is charged with attempted kidnapping, a third-degree felony. Easley faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted, defense attorney Brent Ratekin said. The charge has been enhanced because of previous state jail felony convictions, Ratekin said.
The case is being tried in the Smith County 114th District Court with Judge Christi Kennedy presiding.
Ms. Wages, 40, testified that about 4:30 p.m., she stopped at the store to pick up medicine and groceries for her sick son. As she opened her car door to exit, she first saw Easley walk in front of her car.
But as Ms. Wages opened her door, Easley stepped inside with one hand behind his back and told her that he had a gun, she testified. Ms. Wages demonstrated for the jurors on prosecutor Jacob Putnam what happened next, saying Easley attempted to push her back into her car.
“He was pushing me in. I don't know what his intentions were. I was in fear for my life,” she said.
A young couple, Reese and Katie Stokes, came to her aid in the parking lot and called police, who detained Easley in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Easley was arrested at his home in Flint two days later on Jan. 18.
Prosecutors said in their opening statements that the security cameras in the grocery store's parking lot were not functioning the day of the incident.
The jury also heard the 911 call Ms. Wages made.
Ratekin questioned her about what he called inconsistencies in her statements to police, and to a Smith County grand jury about the case in May related to whether she cut the defendant's hands with her car keys and the sequence of events.
“You immediately attacked?” he asked. “Yes, I was in fear for my life,” Ms. Wages responded.
In his opening statements to the jury, Ratekin said detectives lied to his client when they brought him in for questioning. “You have to listen to the story and see what you believe,” Ratekin said.
Other witnesses included Easley's former wife, April Easley, who testified that on the day of the incident, Easley picked her up at her waitressing job 30 minutes later than usual.
“He was very quiet and he didn't want to look at me,” she testified. Ms. Easley said she was concerned because she had seen her husband take crack cocaine before and didn't know if he might be doing the same again.
The case is expected to go to a jury today.