‘She saved my life’: Centerville woman speaks for first time after hatchet attack

Tonya Taylor (Photo: WKRN)

HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s been nine days since a Hickman County mother was savagely attacked in her home by her ex-husband wielding a hatchet.

Neighbors who reportedly witnessed the attack rushed into her home and shot that man, identified as William Taylor, who ran into the back yard and died.

On Thursday, the victim, a mother of four, spoke about the attack for the first time and the effect it may have on her children, three of whom were at the house.

(Courtesy: iReport2)

Tonya Taylor was very clear she’s alive now thanks to her neighbor who pulled the trigger.

She showed News 2 the stitches across her forehead and bruises on her face, injuries she suffered in the terrifying June 13 attack.

“A fractured skull, a small brain bled, and an air bubble,” Taylor said of her injuries.

“I have four staples in my head here, I have seven stitches here. My lip was busted pretty good, and I have a loose tooth,” she continued.

Taylor says three of her four children were home at the time of the incident. Her ex was reportedly picking up the children to go camping when he suddenly attacked.

(Courtesy: Hickman County Sheriff’s Office)

“I hate this for my kids. My kids have lost their dad,” she said.

Police previously said the children left the home when the attack began, and Taylor told News 2 the neighbors ran over to help when they saw the panicked look on her children’s faces.

“That’s when he hit me with the hatchet, hit me with the blunt side of a hatchet,” she explained.

The neighbors reportedly kicked in a door where the man was threatening to kill Taylor.

“I thought that was it. It was really scary. He locked the bedroom door and we went into the bathroom., and that’s when my neighbors were there,” Taylor explained to News 2.

“I know she told him several times to let me go or she would kill him,” she said of her neighbor.

She continued, “I had my hair in a ponytail and he was holding my hair, and I was lifeless, like a rag doll.”

Taylor said the neighbor called 911 before they busted into the room, so the whole incident was recorded in that call.

“She saved my life. She and her husband saved my life. If not for them, I would not be here,” the mother told News 2.

Tonya Taylor (Photo: WKRN)

Taylor had an order of protection against her husband, who also wore a GPS tracking device, but neither protected he from the man charged with raping and kidnapping her earlier this year.

“This all goes back to an incident in February, with him, he came into my room, in the middle of night, and he beat me up and he wouldn’t let me leave, and he raped me twice,” she said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is still investigating to determine if any charges will be filed against the woman who pulled the trigger.

GoFundMe accounts have been set up for Taylor’s medical expenses and her ex-husband’s burial.

The GPS company behind her ex-husband’s device also weighed in on the tragedy, with the Vice President of Tennesee Recovery and Monitoring telling News 2:

While there was never any question in our mind the equipment was functioning properly, we are always open to continue to work closely with all state wide law enforcement agencies to make the whole process more responsive and effective. In fact and since this incident, we have had a meeting with Hickman County judicial officials to discuss improvements to the process, which were implemented that day. The Judge, DA’s office and others are pleased with the enhancements and are excited about creating additional public safety standards and accountability for the county.I also think it is important to note as a point of reference, the overall compliance in domestic violence monitoring statewide is approximately 98.4 percent.