By ANNE ELGIN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
After allegedly stabbing her husband at a church altar in Tennessee and saying the devil made her do it, a former Tazewell High School cheerleader is now awaiting a mental evaluation.
Stephanie Peery Hamman, 23, of Church Hill, Tenn., formerly of Tazewell County, was arrested March 16 and charged with attempted first-degree murder and felony vandalism.
Hamman is a 2009 graduate of Tazewell High School and was a cheerleader at the school.
The woman stated to police the night of the incident 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. Stephanie Hamman stated she wanted to take several things to the church on March 16 that would make her feel better, but she could not get in because the doors were locked.
“So God told me He wanted me in there, so I drove my car through the front doors,” Stephanie Hamman said in a statement to police. God told me to, so I did it.”
Stephanie Hamman was arraigned Wednesday, and the court found the woman was is in need of an evaluation to determine her mental state, according to an affidavit from Hawkins County General Court.
In an interview with Kingsport Times news reporter Jeff Bobo, Steven Hamman said his wife belongs in the hospital not in jail.
In his call to 911, Steven Hamman told the dispatcher, “I don’t know what’s gotten into my wife.”
Dispatcher: “Had she been drinking or anything like that?”
Hamman: “No. She just got back from a baptism in Claypool Hill (Tazewell County, Va.). I have at least 12 witnesses to it. We got home. She was asleep when we got here. I woke her up. Brought her inside. She started carrying stuff to the car. Then she just got in the car and drove off. I waited a while, and drove after her.”
Dispatcher: “Was it a pocket knife she stabbed you with?”
Hamman: “It was a kitchen knife, man. She didn’t mean to. I was trying to get hold of her. I was like, baby do you even know what’s going on. You just wrecked into the church.’”
Dispatcher: “And she stabbed you by accident?”
Hamman: “I tried to wrestle her, and I didn’t know she had a knife in her hand. I thought her ring cut me.”
— Contact Anne Elgin at email@example.com