A 43-year-old Marquette man is on trial for assault with intent to commit murder, sexual assault, and home invasion.
Tuesday, the woman who allegedly fought for her life that night took the stand. The alleged victim, Autumn Ballas, says it's the story of friendship between coworkers that went terribly wrong.
It all started when she got a job at a Marquette bistro in the Fall of 2009 and met Suranit Imsumran, her manager. Soon, it became clear the 43-year-old man had a crush on her.
But a friendship developed, and Imsumran helped the single mother through financial difficulties, but, she testified, the romantic advances didn't stop. The inappropriate behavior began to jeopardize his job, and on the night of February 26, Ballas said Insumran was angry that he was being ignored.
Late that night, Ballas said she awoke to a man in her room, who began to choke her, attempted to sexually assault her, and finally drew a knife.
"I was screaming; every time I screamed, he'd cover my mouth and say 'shut up' or 'you die,'" says Ballas.
Ballas says it was Imsumran. A struggle ensued; Ballas fought back, and won.
"Everything was so slippery. There was so much blood, it was hard to keep a good grip on the knife at all, and it was going back and forth," Ballas said.
She stabbed him twice, and eventually he took off. Then the authorities arrived.
"She was covered from head to toe in blood; she was carrying her 12-month-old baby," testified a patrol officer who was on the scene.
The prosecution displayed photos, videos, and 20 pieces of evidence from the scene, including a 'kit' comprised of duct tape, personal lubricant, rope, and electrical zip ties. However, the defense questioned whether the evidence collection was completely and properly conducted.
They also raised questions about the relationship between Ballas and Imsumran, including the financial aid she received from him.
The defense is expected to introduce their case to the jury Wednesday.