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Burned and scarred, Tampa woman speaks of ordeal

TAMPA — Her skin may be scarred, but Audrey Mabrey has not given up.

It has been almost four months since Nov. 17, the day she ran screaming from her Apollo Beach home, her clothes and skin ablaze. She told deputies her estranged husband tried to rape her at knifepoint, beat her with a hammer, drenched her in gasoline and set her on fire.

Mabrey is out of a hospital and recovering, both emotionally and physically. Now she is waiting for the chance to face him in court.

"All he did was scar my skin," she said in an interview with Bay News 9 on Monday.

"My life will still go on and he will spend the rest of his life thinking about what he did to me."

During the on-camera interview, Mabrey, 27, remained in shadows, concealing her appearance, as the burns covering 80 percent of her body heal.

On Nov. 17, she said, she came home from school, walked into the house and found her husband, 44-year-old Christopher Hanney, with a butcher knife. He told her repeatedly that he was going to kill her. He accused her of knowing that their oldest son was not his and demanded to know who the real father is, she said.

First, he tried to rape her as he held the knife to her throat, she said. Then, she said, he stood up, grabbed a hammer and hit her with it four times. He then lit a candle, set it down and poured gasoline on her, she said. "He took the candle, had the strangest look in his eyes that I've ever seen in my life, then he threw the candle at me," she said.

Ablaze, she ran to the front lawn and dropped to the ground, putting out the flames with her neighbors' help. "I just kept saying to God: 'God, just let me live, just let me live, that's all I want, just let me live,' " she said.

Though Mabrey said she is not sure why Hanney, a former New York homicide detective, attacked her, she thinks it could be because of the couple's recent separation or financial stress, she said.

Days earlier, Hanney told Mabrey's mother that if the two were divorced, he would be stuck paying child support for the rest of his life, Mabrey said.

Since her release from the hospital on Feb. 17, Mabrey has been recuperating at a friend's home. She has not seen her two young sons since that day and looks forward to seeing them, she said.

Hanney remains in jail with no bail, charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Mabrey said she is eager to see him when she testifies against him in court. "I can't wait to look him right in his face," she said.

For information on how to help Audrey Mabrey, visit

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For information on how to help Audrey Mabrey, visit

Burned and scarred, Tampa woman speaks of ordeal 03/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010 11:43pm]
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