Christy Martin describes ex-husband's attack on stand

James Martin, 68, charged with trying to kill professional boxer Christy Martin

Published On: Apr 24 2012 10:52:22 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2012 07:18:06 PM EDT
Christy Martin, James Martin
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Professional boxer Christy Martin recounted the moments when she says her ex-husband tried to kill her in court on Tuesday at her ex-husband's attempted murder trial.

James Martin, 68, is charged with attempted murder after prosecutors say he shot and stabbed his ex-wife in November 2010 after learning she was leaving him for a woman. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a weapon.

"He's taking my head and he's beating it to where the drawers are and I said 'mother****** you can not kill me," Christy Martin said.

Christy Martin said on the stand she didn't marry for love and the relationship was business-based for both her and James Martin, her former trainer.

"He knew that I was not in love with him and I felt that he had never loved me either and that this was kind of a business relationship," Christy Martin said.

Christy Martin said she stayed with James Martin to protect her family from what she called "gay-bashing."

"It was one threat after another. 'I'm going to ruin you in the boxing world, I'm going to ruin you with your family. I'm gonna tell the world you're gay,'" Christy Martin said.

She said a month before the incident, she had reconnected with Sherri Lusk, a woman she had an intimate relationship with in high school and is now her partner.

"I was happier. I was by myself. I was not being told what to do. I was not being controlled. I was not being puppeted by the puppet master," Christy Martin said.

Prosecutors said James Martin was enraged his wife of 19 years was going to leave him. When Christy Martin left to spend the weekend with Lusk, prosecutors said James Martin attacked his wife when she returned to their Apopka home, stabbing Christy Martin four times with a buck knife and then shooting her in the chest.

"The violence of this attack is astounding and you will see the evidence in that violence," prosecutors said.

Jurors saw the bloody slashed clothes Christy Martin was wearing the night of the attempted murder and also pictures of her recovering in the hospital.

Christy Martin's lover, Sherri Lusk, told the court  on Tuesday she visited Christy Martin in the hospital after the attack and saw her injuries, including a large gash behind her ear and several knife wounds on her leg.

Lusk also testified on Tuesday that over the weekend they spent together, James Martin left voicemail messages threatening to shoot both of them.

"She continued to tell me that when she got home he is going to kill her," Lusk said.

James Martin was arrested one week after the incident after being found hiding in a shed in his Apopka neighborhood.

Three friends who had talked to James Martin days before the attack also took the stand Tuesday. Maria Brasher told the jury James Martin asked to borrow money because their house was going into foreclosure and Christy didn't know yet.

Her husband, Bruce Brasher ,called 911 concerned James Martin would commit suicide after he called saying Christy was leaving him for a woman and he had two guns on the table. Bruce Brasher also said James Martin offered to send him sexually explicit pictures of Christy.

The third friend, Daniel Lait, says Jim called and said "Christy is leaving me for a woman and I'm in bad shape."

James Martin's defense team had originally said they would claim self-defense in the shooting, but didn't say that explicitly during opening statements. The defense told jurors the boxer was much younger, more athletic and that James Martin had suffered a heart attack and a coma a short time before the incident.

During opening statements, James Martin's attorney said it was odd Christy Martin told several friends she was afraid for her life, but still went back to her house with her husband.

Christy Martin said her reasoning for going back to her was to deal with her husband and then move on.

"It's the only way I can be free," she said. "I have to live through what this man is going to put out. What ever he dishes out, I have to take it or die."

The defense also pointed out Martin ended a three year cocaine addiction that month.

James Martin turned down a plea deal 25 year plea deal on Monday. James Martin's attorney says that at James Martin's age, the plea offer would amount to a life sentence anyway. Prosecutors said James Martin had previously vowed not to accept any plea that was more than three years.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.