Victim in domestic assault turned arson says she's lucky to be alive

(WMC-TV) - The victim in Wednesday's domestic assault turned arson showed off stab wounds she received during a fight with ex-boyfriend Artez Richardson.

"I put up my left arm and ended up getting hit in the left rib cage," said the victim who asked to remain anonymous.  "Then he took the scissors and stuck it through the muscle on my left arm."

The victim and her seven children are now homeless.

Horn Lake police said Richardson, 45, kicked in the front door at a Fleetwood Home cove.  He forced the victim and her children out and barricaded himself inside.

Investigators said Richardson set the home on fire before firefighters rescued him.  He is now charged with burglary, aggravated domestic assault and arson.

The victim said she moved to Mississippi from Minnesota, where she had an order of protection against Richardson.

"I was forced to put an order of protection and restraining order against him," she said.  "He destroyed my house there, as well as my vehicles."

Police said four of the victim's seven children were inside the home when Richardson kicked in the door.

The victim said she is sympathetic towards Richardson.  She said he suffers from a mental illness, so she kept letting him back into her life.

Horn Lake police said they see several domestic violence cases where the victim chooses not to press charges, and thus the cycle repeats.

The victim said she has learned an important lesson and is blessed to have her children and her life.

"A couple wounds here and there, but a life you can't replace," she said.

For more information on domestic violence or to find help click here

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.