Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 17, 2014

Former Tazewell cheerleader arrested for stabbing husband; claims NASCAR, devil made her do it

CHURCH HILL, Tenn. — A former Tazewell High School cheerleader was arrested in Tennessee for stabbing her husband in the chest at a church altar and saying the devil made her do it.

Stephanie Peery Hamman, 23, of Church Hill, formerly of Tazewell County, was charged Sunday with attempted first degree murder and felony vandalism.

Hamman is a 2009 graduate of Tazewell High School and was a cheerleader at the school, confirmed another THS student athlete who also attended the school during that time.

According to a press release from Church Hill Police, Church Hill Public Safety Officer Daniel Byington responded to the scene and the victim, Steven Hamman, stated his wife, Stephanie Hamman, had left the residence and wrecked her vehicle at Providence Church, located across the street from their apartment.

Byington said Hamman stated he went to check on his wife, and discovered she had driven her vehicle through the front doors of the church. Hamman stated he found his wife lying in front of the altar, and as he checked on her, she stated, "The devil is in me", and stabbed him on the right side of his chest with a large kitchen knife. Hamman told police he pulled the knife out of his chest and fled the scene, according to the press release. The man went back to the apartment where he waited on police and EMS assistance.

 Approximately 20 minutes later, Church Hill Police Officer Dustin Dean learned that Stephanie Hamman was at the emergency room at Holston Valley Hospital & Medical Center. 

The officer then went to the hospital and "Mirandized" Hamman, according to the press release. At that time, she made the following statements, including that she decided to live for God and got baptized at Providence Church this morning (a statement that has not been verified). She stated God had told her that smoking marijuana all day and all night was not good for her and that she only needed to smoke it at night to help her relax, the press release said.

  Mrs. Hamman further stated that she felt her husband Steven was worshipping the NASCAR race at Bristol, which made her mad, and she began having thoughts that the devil put in her head.  Mrs. Hamman stated she wanted to take several things to the church this evening that would make her feel better, but she could not get in because the doors were locked.  Mrs. Hamman stated, "So God told me He wanted me in there, so I drove my car through the front doors."  Mrs. Hamman stated the damage is trivial to anything that happened.  "God told me to, so I did it,” according to the press release. 

 Stephanie Hamman also stated, "After I drove through the doors, I put all the things I brought to the church at the altar. I called Steven and told him I had wrecked. I laid down in front of the altar until he got there. The devil told me to take the kitchen knife with me.  I prayed I would not have to use it on him, but I did.” She further stated, "When Steven came to check on me, I told him the devil was in me and I stabbed him in the heart. Have you heard if he is dead or not?"  "I smoke a bunch of weed. I love to smoke it. Sometimes when I do, I start seeing things that others don't.  Isn't God good?  He told me that this would happen and just look, I am okay." 

Hamman also stated that her relatives brought her to the hospital. “I was riding with them to a party at the racetrack when they brought me here,” she said in the report. “I was outside digging in the mud when the devil told me I need to go there. I knew God would help me live right." 

The officer placed Stephanie Hamman under arrest at HVHMC and she was transported to the Hawkins County  jail and is being held without bond, according to the press release.

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