Police: Woman drove through church after 'God told her to'
Updated On: Mar 17 2014 05:26:32 PM CDT
A Church Hill woman is facing charges after police say she crashed her car into a church and then stabbed her husband.
Police tell us the suspect, 23-year-old Stephanie Hamman, says she drove through the church after 'God told her to.'
The front of Providence Church in Church Hill, Tennessee is destroyed after police say Hamman drove through the building. Click here to view photos from the scene.
Officers say she told them, "God told me he wanted me in there, so I drove my car through the front doors."
"The damage had pretty much taken out our door. It's done a little bit of structural damage to the weight-bearing wall under our roof. It's taken out our water fountains and done some damage to our flooring," says Joel Trigg, pastor of Providence Church.
Trigg tells us that luckily, nobody was at the church when it happened late Sunday night. He says the Hamman has never been to the church and they aren't familiar with her name. "We just took a moment, joined hands and said a prayer for her, that God would be with her and her husband also," Trigg said.
Police tell us Hamman drove through the church, then called her husband to come check on her. Hamman's husband told police he found her laying here in front of the altar; when he went to check on her, he says she stabbed him in the right side of his chest with a knife.
The man told police that's when he pulled the knife out and ran back to their apartment.
After officers arrived at the church, they later located Hamman at Holston Valley Medical Center. Officers say she told them, "God told me that smoking marijuana all day and all night was not good for me, and that I only needed to smoke it at night to help her relax."
"We have a lot of compassion for people who are struggling with those kinds of things. It is a very weird thing, but we live in kind of a weird society right now," says Pastor Trigg.
Hamman told police she felt her husband was worshipping the NASCAR race at Bristol, which made her angry; she said she began having thoughts that the Devil put in her head, and that's why she stabbed her husband in the chest.
Church members tell us they will pray for Hamman and her husband, and move forward. "Everything that has happened is now in the past. We have to look towards the future, getting our church back in order, and getting people to come back in. We'll be okay," adds church member Gary Mehler.
Hamman is charged with attempted first degree murder and felony vandalism. At last check, her husband is in fair condition.
Church Pastor Joel Trigg tells us they aren't sure exactly how much it will cost to repair the church. He says they have been in contact with an insurance adjustor and are waiting to see what they need to do next.
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