GAUTIER, Miss. (WKRG) — The family and friends of a Vancleave, Mississippi, woman are pushing for changes after she was the victim of domestic violence.
The family of the woman, who they identified as Nina, says she is on life support after being hit by a car at a gas station on Highway 57.
“It’s not easy to watch your family going through something like this,” said Wendy Hamilton, her aunt.
Her aunt says she’s fighting for her life at USA Health University Hospital. “She’s critical, very critical. She’s making baby steps,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton says Nina was attacked by her ex-boyfriend. “He drove his truck into her,” said Hamilton.
The Gautier Police Department says it happened on May 6th, in the early morning hours at the Chevron Gas Station on Highway 57. According to police, a woman was hit by a vehicle, and the suspect fled in a black pick-up truck.
They say while they were responding to the assault, the suspect was involved in an accident on Highway 57 near C Byrd Road. 21-year-old Terrance Sierra McNaughton has been identified as the suspect. He was not taken into custody, due to serious injuries sustained in the accident.
Both the suspect and victim were taken to medical facilities because of the seriousness of their injuries.
Gautier police say his charges have upgraded from Domestic Violence Aggravated Assault to Attempted Murder. He is still hospitalized, once he is released, he will be arrested.
If anyone has any information about this crime, please contact the Gautier Police Department at 228-497-2486 or The Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.
Gautier police say McNaughton was arrested on 10/31/2020 for Domestic Violence – Aggravated Assault involving the same victim. Police say he is currently out on bond for that charge.
According to her family, he was also arrested for a separate domestic violence-related incident last month. They say it happened three weeks ago, and she had a black eye after the incident. They say he was out on bond when this latest incident happened. “He ran her off the road, hit her car twice, hit her car again, ran her into a ditch,” said Hamilton.
Her friends are using what happened to Nina to try and change laws in Mississippi. They have started a petition to end domestic violence and harshen domestic violence laws in Mississippi.”End the domestic violence and make stricter laws for Mississippi. And if I have to go to Jackson, I will,” said Erica Berden, a friend.
Her family is raising awareness and being her voice as she recovers in the hospital. They have created a Facebook page for her progress and updates on their fight for justice.
Her family says Nina would want her story told. “Even with a black eye from recent events, she didn’t cover it. people would ask and she would tell her story, she would tell what happened to her. She’s not embarrassed by it. She would want it heard and she would want somebody to look at her and say, ‘she inspires me, and she makes me want to leave and I’m going to do what I have to do thanks to Nina,'” said Hamilton.
A benefit is planned to help her family pay for expenses while she is in the hospital recovering.