DID CHERRY HAMMOCK HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL HER HUSBAND?
�48 HOURS MYSTERY� -- SATURDAY, NOV. 6
Cherry Hammock of Crawford County, Ga. says she killed her husband, Jay, in self-defense in September 2001, but prosecutors say it was murder. Contributor Maureen Maher reports for a 48 HOURS MYSTERY: �The Right to Kill,� to be broadcast Saturday, Nov. 6 (10:00 � 11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Cherry was married to Jay for five years and together they built their dream house -- she was a general contractor for more than 20 years and Jay was a skilled mechanic and raced high-performance motorcycles.
After a few years of marriage, Cherry claims that Jay started becoming verbally and mentally abusive to her. She says he shot her dog dead when it was slow to get out of the couples� truck. Cherry also learned from Jay�s first wife that he had beaten her.
Jay told Cherry he wanted a divorce and moved into the guest bedroom. He even told Cherry�s son, Jerry, that he didn�t want to have to take care of an aging wife � Cherry was nine years his senior. Cherry says the verbal and mental abuse continued, so she left home to stay with her son for a couple of days. When she returned, she says Jay came home one evening in a rage. Cherry says she locked herself in her bedroom because she feared him.
Allegedly, Jay came into the house and yelled at her through the door, �What are you doing here?� She says he came to the door hourly, yelled at her and dragged his nails down the door to scare her. Then, several hours later, Jay came crashing through the door and allegedly yelled at her, �It�s a about time I taught you a lesson.� She says she grabbed her gun and if went off as Jay came at her, the bullet hitting him in the chest.
Cherry claims that she shot him in self-defense and that she feared for her life. The authorities say she was laying a trap and had many questions: Why didn�t she call for help? Why didn�t she crawl out the window? Why didn�t she warn Jay she had a gun and would use it if he tried to hurt her?
48 HOURS MYSTERY: �The Right to Kill� is produced by Gail Zimmerman, Ian Paisley and Mead Stone. The senior producer is Peter Schweitzer and the executive producer is Susan Zirinsky.