Mary Jo Netherton, 61, refused the midnight stranger's
request to use the phone in her Knoxville, Tennessee, home.
Suddenly, the 26-year-old invader burst through her front door and
began hitting and shoving the woman across the room. Pointing a gun
at her head, the intruder demanded the receipts from a restaurant
she operates. Helpless, Netherton feared she would be killed
without her hearing-impaired boy-friend--asleep in the next
room--ever coming to her rescue. She was wrong. From the darkness,
James Roy Patton emerged, shoving a snubnose .38 into the
assailant's chest and firing. Though the criminal had donned a
bullet-proof vest, it fit too loosely, allowing the bullet to find
its mark. The crook, who had an extensive violent criminal history,
including fleeing police and weapons charges from just four months
prior to Netherton's assault, died. "They were lucky. If they had
not had a gun in the house, they'd have been dead," Knoxville Police
Investigator Mike Hyde said.
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