An 80-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, woman was jailed several days ago on attempted murder charges, after she threatened to shoot her former husband who was allegedly threatening her, Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth reports. But, just this morning, radio personality Rickey Smiley paid her bond in a sign of overwhelming humanity that has become as big a story as the senior citizen’s alleged act.
On his website, The Rickey Smiley Show, the comedian said that he became aware of the story after someone sent him a link via social media. “It moved me in a certain way,” Smiley explained. “I started digging … I wanted her released.”
The altercation that led to Tempie Strickland‘s (pictured) arrest began Saturday night when she and her live-in ex-husband, Sterling Strickland, 73, were arguing over his staying out late at the barber shop and playing bingo. Strickland says she believed that Sterling was going to hit her at one point, making her pull out a gun and pointing it at his chest.
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“I pulled a gun but I wasn’t shooting at him,” she said. “And the bullet didn’t go off and I didn’t do it anymore.” She continued, “I wasn’t going to shoot him. I ain’t never shoot no man. I’m a Christian. I don’t do that.”
The cops arrested her after Sterling called 911 to report his ex-wife’s actions. Though he did not want her arrested, the police cuffed her that night and charged her with attempted murder; that charge has since been downgraded to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and Strickland’s bond was reduced.
What moved Smiley to help Ms. Strickland was when a Fox 4 reporter asked her how long she would be behind bars and she said she didn’t know if she would ever be let go. “It broke my heart,” Smiley said, adding that everyone deserves due process.
But, to be clear, Smiley said he does not agree with Strickland’s alleged actions.
“I’m not defending the crime of pulling guns out on people,” Smiley stated, but he didn’t want her to die in jail before she was able to be judged by her peers. “When it comes to seniors, I’m really sensitive.”
The Rickey Smiley Show, which is a property of Radio One that also owns NewsOne, is working to get Strickland on-air tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Smiley’s Twitter fans were most impressed with his deed: