Laneice Strickland had to speak for her husband.
His jaw was wired shut and gauze was taped just below his ears, the aftermath of a beating on Nov. 26.
Ronald Strickland, 23, was seated behind her Wednesday as she testified before General Sessions Court Judge David Bales that 21-year-old Quindell Ray, whom police say is a validated member of the Gangsta Disciples gang, had stomped her husband nearly to death.
The attack, which involved two other men, was Strickland's punishment for testifying against another Gangsta Disciple, Dominic "Scream" Wright, according to her testimony and a Chattanooga police report.
Ray faces charges of aggravated assault and assault. Bales sent his case to the Hamilton County grand jury.
"Based on the seriousness of this case, we're lucky we don't have a homicide case before us," Bales said.
Laneice Strickland, 26, who works at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, testified that the men beating her husband on Nov. 26 "just pushed me to the side."
"I kept yelling, 'Stop. Stop stomping him,'" she said. "At the time he wasn't breathing."
Then Ray "came back and tried to spit on my husband," she said.
Skull fractured and face paralyzed, Ronald Strickland was placed on a ventilator. He stayed in intensive care for days. He isn't expected to recover fully for six to eight months, his wife said, and it will be nine weeks before he can talk or eat solid food.
In the meantime, with the two other attackers at large, Laneice Strickland said she feels unsafe living in East Lake Courts housing development. She has requested a transfer from the Chattanooga Housing Authority but said she was denied.
CHA Police Chief Felix Vess did not return a message Wednesday evening seeking comment.