The woman shot in the head during a carjacking outside a West Wendover, Nev., casino on New Year's Eve day said she had decided she would fight for her life rather than wait to die at the hands of her attackers.
During a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Elko, Nev., Rattana Keomanivong described her encounter with two people she identified as 24-year-old Logan Welles McFarland and 25-year-old Angela Marie Hill both persons of interest in the slaying of a Mount Pleasant couple late last year.
"If I was going to die, I was going to die fighting," the Elko Daily Free Press newspaper reported Keomanivong as saying. "I was going to be found in the city and not along the highway."
McFarland faces felony charges of kidnapping and larceny in connection with the Dec. 31 carjacking. The preliminary hearing will determine whether he should stand trial on those charges.
Hill who also goes by the name Angela Atwood faces an additional charge of attempted murder for allegedly shooting Keomanivong in the head during the carjacking. A preliminary hearing for Hill will be scheduled Thursday.
According to the Free Press, Keomanivong had worked a night shift as a poker dealer at the Rainbow Casino in West Wendover and decided to stop at the Red Garter casino to play slots before going home. In the parking lot of the Red Garter, Hill approached Keomanivong and stopped her from getting in the car, according to court documents.
On the stand Tuesday, Keomanivong said she followed orders to get in the passenger seat after seeing Hill's gun, the Free Press reported.
Keomanivong testified that Hill hit her above the eye with the gun when she offered to give up her car and purse in exchange for being released. Keomanivong said McFarland took her purse and walked away.
When Hill began driving toward the highway, Keomanivong said she decided to fight, the Elko newspaper reported.
"We were both struggling for the gun. She tried to pull the gun toward her ... at one point I had the gun loose and she grabbed it back," she said.
As the pair struggled in the stopped car, they both spilled out an open door and onto the street and another car approached from behind, according to testimony.
"I knew in my mind, it's not the police because they would have red and blue lights. So I thought, 'Oh my god,' that's got to be him, that's got to be the guy that took my purse," Keomanivong said, according to the Free Press. The woman said she jumped into her car and put it into gear.
"I felt a bump, like the car moved. Then I stepped on the gas pedal and took off," she said. "As I stepped on the gas pedal I heard a really loud pound in my head. It was so loud. I didn't feel anything because I was so scared, and I wanted to get away."
Keomanivong drove to the police station with a bullet in the back of her head, according to court documents.
McFarland and Hill remain behind bars in the Elko County jail. Both have been charged in connection with burglaries in Sanpete County. But Utah prosecutors have yet to file charges in connection with the death of Leroy and Dorotha Fullwood, who were found dead in their Mount Pleasant home on Dec. 31.