Beating Victim Speaks Out For First Time

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After being brutally beaten, a woman is speaking out about her experience and how she has forgiven her attacker.

"When you get up in the morning and put your feet on the floor, it's your choice as to whether or not how you want to be. If you want to be nice, you have that choice to make, and I choose to make that choice," Betty Whiteley said.

Though attacked, beaten, and broken, Whiteley's spirit is strong.

"I'm not going to let some jerk down the street that got one over on me, you know, change my life," Whiteley said.

That reference is to Jerry Smith, someone a few days ago Whiteley likely would have called a friend.

Down on his luck, several times Smith came into Whiteley's real estate business in Charleston to talk.

She showed him kindness, offering money and a listening ear.

However, Monday when she had no cash to give her hospitality was returned with hostility.

"The next thing, he has left hand on my neck, from behind, and he's squeezing as hard as he can squeeze, and he's pounding me, he's just pounding me," remember Whiteley, "and the only thing I can remember saying is 'oh God no, oh God no.' "

With nowhere to run, Whitely kept sliding under her desk, hoping to avoid the onslaught of punches and stabs with a screwdriver.

"If I hadn't put my hands up there around my neck like I did, that screwdriver that broke that bone would have killed me," Whiteley said.

She says Smith violently clawed at her fingers, hoping to pry off the wedding band. He then ripped off her necklace before rummaging through her purse and taking off.

Days later and Whitely's stitches, bruises, and bandages show a memory that won't soon fade away.

However, they also serve as a sign that she is alive and able -- to make that choice to be kind once again.

Whiteley says she has forgiven her attacker because that's what God tells us to do.

She hopes to be released from the hospital Saturday.

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