Ohio Governor John Kasich has finally commuted the sentence of a woman who killed her habitually abusive ex-boyfriend while he attacked her—after she’d already served 15 years in prison.
Thomia Hunter was convicted of murdering Andrew Harris in 2005, but it wasn’t until this last June that the Ohio Parole Board recommended clemency on the basis of evidence not presented at her trial.
Hunter testified that Harris, with whom she’d broken up a few months earlier, “attacked after he accused her of cheating on him. She said he beat her, choked her, poured hot sauce in her eyes and cut her with a knife before she stabbed him,” Cleveland.com reports. But new evidence related to battered woman’s syndrome—a subcategory of PTSD—apparently convinced the parole board that Hunter was telling the truth, and also that Hunter “proved she suffered prior domestic abuse at Harris’s hands, and that she genuinely feared for her life and had no way to escape his attack in the minutes before she stabbed him.” Too bad the jury didn’t feel the same way when they convicted her of murder and felonious assault in 2005, for which she was ordered life in prison.
Hunter’s lawyer, Tiffanny Smith, told reporters that “I hope that this case will help people understand that there is more to the story and we need to try to understand it all before passing judgment.”
Hunter will be released on July 15, pending her completion of a re-integration program.