Audrey Mabrey in court: Husband tried to burn me, kill me

TAMPA - Audrey Mabrey took the witness stand Tuesday to describe for the jury how she says her husband beat her with a hammer and then set her on fire.

Her husband, Christopher Hanney, 46, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and arson. The incident happened in November, 2009.

Testifying, Mabrey said she returned from a jog to the couple's house in Apollo Beach.

She said she arrived home to find Hanney "stark naked with a butcher knife" inside the house. She said he "scooped her up" and took her to the garage.

Mabrey went on to testify that Hanney attempted to rape her, hit her four times with a hammer, doused her with lighter fluid and then tossed a lit candle at her.

"Instantly, I go up in flames," Mabrey said. She was able to escape out of the garage, she said, and put out the fire in the grass.

She suffered burns to 80 percent of her body though.

A landscaper and a deputy also testified on Tuesday that Hanney admitted to setting the fire and trying to kill his wife. The couple was in the process of divorcing at the time of the incident.

"You are going to hear evidence of one of the most monstrous and unimaginable crimes," said prosecutor Michael Sinacore in his opening statement.

Hanney is expected to testify in the trial, which is likely to last most of the week.

In her opening statement, defense attorney Jennifer Spradley said, "The story is not told by Miss Mabrey's scars. The story is told by what happened in November, 2009."

The trial will resume Wednesday morning in Hillsborough County.

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