MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Helena-West Helena man is behind bars after police said he shot his new wife in the neck. WREG spoke to the woman who is sharing her story in hopes of encouraging other domestic violence survivors to keep going.
Erica Williams-Otey is on the long road to recovery after police said last week, she was shot by her husband of 7 months, 49-year-old Johnny Otey.
The bullet is still lodged in her neck.
“He left me for dead. He thought I was dead, but see God shielded me and covered me,” Erica said.
The victim said she was heading out to celebrate her 40th birthday when her husband aggressively approached her and started firing shots.
“Johnny Carson Otey Senior stood on that wall over there aimed a 22 revolver at my face,” Erica said. “I can remember him saying, ‘[expletive] I’m gone kill you.'”
Erica said she married Otey back in January. Recently, she said he became controlling, and they separated.
Williams-Otey said during the shooting he was so enraged he stood over her firing into her chest and face while her children were feet away in their home.
“On my 40th birthday I’m praying to God to let me live, ‘Lord please don’t let my kids watch me die,'” Erica said.
Helena-West Helena Corporal Detective Kelson Franklin is the lead investigator on the case.
“Abuse like this, the Police Department will not stand for,” Det. Franklin said.
Franklin said Otey was captured Tuesday afternoon at work thanks to an anonymous tipster. He said this crime showed Otey has a pattern of behavior.
“His previous wife he had from our reports… he shot her in the face. Luckily for us, the victim did survive,” Det. Franklin said.
“I didn’t see that in him he was kind,” Erica said “He was like father of the year.”
Erica is relieved her husband is in now jail. She said she’s now worried about alleged threats from his family on Facebook.
“What God got for me can’t no man destroy so quit coming after me and just accept justice is being done,” Erica said.
Otey is charged with domestic battery in the first degree. Police said, if convicted, he could face more than 10 years in prison.
However, his wife said she wants to see a harsher penalty.