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Largo woman describes how she accidentally ran over husband

LARGO — Joyce Khoshaba was fighting with her husband, Ushana, on Sunday. He was pretty upset that she woke him up, she said.

She had to get out of their unit at Roosevelt Manor mobile home park. So she decided to go to Walmart with her friend. But her husband didn't want her to go.

Around 1:30 p.m., she got into their 1990 Dodge Dynasty with her friend, Leigha Good. He was trying to force the keys out of the ignition, she said.

Khoshaba explained that she saw her husband in front of her. "I said, 'Move,' and I tried to get out of the way," she said.

She said she's not sure what gear the car was in. But she hit the gas and next thing she knew, she heard a loud "plunk."

"It freaked me out, so I backed up and that's when I rolled over him again," said Khoshaba, 46.

Pinellas County deputies came out to the park at 5250 Roosevelt Boulevard and found Ushana Khoshaba, 54, unconscious in the road. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The case appears to be an accident, according to accounts by Khoshaba, her friend and witnesses, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Tom Nestor. But the investigation is still open. Detectives are waiting for a report from the medical examiner's office and plan to consult with the state attorney's office.

Neighbor Larry Briner said the couple had a volatile relationship. Sometimes, he heard "screaming and hollering" from their unit. Once he saw Joyce Khoshaba toss plastic gas cans at her husband.

Nestor said deputies went to the Khoshaba home in November. Ushana told deputies they were arguing and Joyce broke a coffee table.

Since 2009, Ushana has been arrested in Pinellas at least five times for charges including retail theft. In 2010, he was charged with stealing a washer from the laundry room at a complex where they lived. He told police he was struggling financially and was being evicted. State records show no arrests for Joyce Khoshaba.

On Monday, Khoshaba walked across the road to her friend Joanne Ferrell's home, clutching a Pepsi and a pack of cigarettes. She said she needed information about cremating her husband.

"I have to have somebody help me," she said crying. "I can't deal with deaths."

She can't get the images of her husband's bleeding, contorted body out of her head. "I'm trying not to have a nervous breakdown," she said.

Ushana, who is from Kuwait, used to do construction work but hadn't for a while because he was disabled, she said. Everyone called him John or Johnny.

The couple met in St. Louis, Mo., came to Pinellas County in 2008 and lived in Clearwater before moving to unincorporated Largo a few months ago. They have two adult sons, both in Illinois, and a daughter.

"We always talked about being bonded together till death do us part," Joyce Khoshaba said.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Lorri Helfand can be reached at or (727) 445-4155.