From the Tallahassee Democrat-
The woman who was brutally attacked in a Tallahassee church is recovering and telling loved ones that she's ready to forgive her assailant.I found it curious that the story never names the person that was attacked. That prompted me to write article's author, Nic Corbett, who kindly replied back to me.
"I hope the man repents and is born again," the woman's husband, Donsoo Jeon, said of the man who attacked her. "My wife said she is ready to forgive him."
Jeon's wife, who is four months pregnant, was kneeling in the front of the church sanctuary just before the attack. She was beaten and stabbed multiple times in the face, neck and hands. She's been released from the hospital and is recovering, and her unborn child is expected to be OK.
Johnny James Byrd Jr., 25, was arrested shortly after the attack on charges of attempted first-degree murder, armed burglary, attempted sexual battery, grand-theft auto and armed robbery. He's being held without bail in the Leon County Jail.
The woman, a devout Christian, prayed at Tallahassee Korean Baptist Church every day, her husband said. He worried about her going to the church alone early in the morning.
"I warned her, 'It's dangerous. It's not a very good neighborhood,' " he said. "But she is based on faith. She said God protects her."
I didn't name the wife because generally our newspaper doesn't print the names of victims. Also, if you didn't know the family, you wouldn't be able to figure out who she is very quickly because her husband's last name is different from her last name.The Democrat doesn't print the name of victims? Did they do that in the case of the Virginia Tech massacre? How about the story of a Northern Florida Sheriff whose wife was murdered? I'm not criticizing Corbett, but the newspaper's policy. To me it seems inconsistent. Also I think the story would be more powerful, if the victim was known. Like in the case of Peter and Cathy Read after their daughter Mary Karen was murdered at VT. Of course if the victim doesn't want their name published, it is a whole different matter.
One last note- Korean women traditionally keep their family name after marriage. Though I have a friend who didn't
More of the article is below.
A member of the church, B.J. Oh, said Jeon's wife was praying when she heard noises. She didn't open her eyes at first because she thought it was just the pastor arriving. Then she heard a knock, opened her eyes and saw a man behind her.
She ran to a side room to escape, but the man caught up with her. He beat her and stabbed her. She tried to fend him off with her hands, hoping to keep the knife from hurting her baby. Investigators say Byrd was going to sexually assault her, but she convinced him to leave because other church members would be arriving.
He threw blankets on top of her so she wouldn't be able to move, Oh said. But she managed to crawl 270 feet from the sanctuary to a kitchen, which had a phone that she used to call 911.
Meanwhile, her attacker took her purse and drove away in her car. Byrd was arrested after a deputy spotted the car nearby. Investigators say he was burglarizing the church when the woman came in to pray.
When the pastor arrived, he saw the deputies' cars and an ambulance. He couldn't recognize the woman's face because it was badly swollen from the attack.
"He nearly beat her to death," Oh said.
Oh said the woman thanked God that she was attacked rather than one of her fellow church-goers.
"Our question was, 'Why God? Why was it her?'" Oh said. "But we all know it could have been one of us."
Jeon and his wife have attended the church for more than a decade. She first joined when she was a foreign-exchange student at Florida State University. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years. She went on two missionary trips to Birmingham, Ala., and a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.
She also led the church's rescue mission, providing meals to homeless people at The Shelter once a month.
"She's been an example to all of us," Oh said.
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