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Utah Woman Blindfolds Husband for Surprise, Beats Him With Hammer

File this story under "you can't trust anyone these days." A Utah woman has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for beating her husband with a hammer after blindfolding him and promising a "surprise."

When Amy and Joel Ricks stopped at her parents' condo one night in May 2007, she blindfolded him and led him down to the basement, where she said there was a surprise for him. That surprise was a beating with a hammer. After several blows, Joel was able to get the blindfold off and grab for the hammer. He couldn't get it away from her and she continued her attack.

He escaped, getting to a neighbor and asking them to call 911. Amy also called 911 as she searched for Joel. She was arrested a couple of miles away.

Joel suffered only minor injuries. He told police that sleeping bags had been spread out on the floor, and a 9-inch kitchen knife was in a bag nearby. It was this evidence of apparent premeditation that led police to charge Amy with attempted murder. With her trial set to start this week, she accepted a plea.

"It's a good resolution for Amy and her husband, Joel," said Susanne Gustin, one of Amy's' attorneys. "It just brings some closure to a difficult three years."

Gustin claims Amy has no memory of the attack, that she suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But the lawyer says Amy knows she did it, because she said so to the 911 operator.

Lawyers were preparing a battered woman defense if the case had gone to trial. Gustin said the case took nearly three years to resolve because of defense efforts to obtain Joel Ricks' mental health records. The defense took its records request to both the Utah Court of Appeals and Utah Supreme Court without success.

The couple is still legally married, but separated.


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