NEW PORT RICHEY — After Melony Malone reported to authorities — reluctantly — how her ex-husband terrorized her during a seven-hour siege in May 2009, she changed her story.
She wrote a letter to prosecutors saying Roy "Dave" Kinard didn't actually have a gun when he showed up at her house on Zimmerman Road that morning. He didn't force his way in — he used his own key. He didn't pistol-whip her — she hit her head on the counter. And he never tied her up.
Malone wrote the letter April 22 of this year, the same day Kinard called her multiple times from the Pasco County jail, pleading with her to tweak her version of the incident.
A jury heard partial recordings of those calls on Tuesday during Kinard's trial on charges of armed burglary, kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated battery with a firearm. He faces life in prison if convicted.
In the calls, he tells Malone again and again that he loves her and they'll be together again soon.
She says she loves him back.
It's a common pattern in cases of domestic abuse for victims to return to their abusers, said Penny Morrill, CEO of Sunrise of Pasco, a domestic violence resource center.
"They love the individual but they don't like the behavior," Morrill said of domestic violence victims. "The human being is, I think, programmed to always be hopeful. We give the person another chance."
Malone had given Kinard numerous chances. They married in 1997. He went to prison in 2005, the year they divorced, after kidnapping her and shooting at police in a pursuit.
They had reconciled by 2009 but Malone kicked him out over his drug use. When he showed up that morning in May, he was enraged.
Malone, who acknowledged that she wanted no part of the trial, testified Tuesday that she thought he was going to kill her that day. After he tied her and her son's girlfriend up, he beat Malone with the gun, she said. He held a knife to her throat, then chopped off her hair.
He threatened to harm her friends and burn down her mother's house. He humiliated her by taking a cell phone picture of her in the shower and promising to send it to everyone she knew.
But in the week after the ordeal, Malone didn't call the police. She only reported what happened when a co-worker who saw her black-and-blue hands insisted.
She told her story to a judge in a pretrial hearing in February. By April, his repeated calls had weakened her resolve.
In the recordings, Kinard alternates between obsessing over the details of what she should say and showering her with affection.
"Once they convict me, I'm done. It's easier to nip it in the bud before. Don't you agree?" he says.
Then, a few minutes later:
"Love you," he tells her.
"Love you, too," she replies.
"Yeah, you sure?"
In a call later in the day, Kinard tells Malone they'll run to Tennessee once he gets out of jail.
At the state line, he says, they'll "stop the car and kiss each other for the first time — forget everything in the past and just move forward."
Molly Moorhead can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @mmoorheadtimes.