I Survived: Domestic Violence Victim Beaten And Left For Dead Tells Her Story

Judge Sentences Suspect To 48-61 Years In Prison

PINE LEVEL – September 29, 2018 is a day a Johnston County woman will never forget.  For this article, she asked not to be identified by name, but wants others to know how she was beaten for hours, left for dead, but miraculously survived. She credits God for her survival.

Her story of domestic violence actually begins in January 2016 when she met Charles Guin Jr. at a substance abuse treatment program.  They began dating and 8 months later they were married.  “He was charming to begin with. He had told me little stories about himself and different women and how he had hit them. He would say a lot of that to me.”

Guin continued to abuse drugs during their marriage. The abuse and irrational behavior worsened. “He would sit in front of my workplace.  He would call my employer. He was creeping me out by sitting in the parking lot. He would take my phone from me. He would take my car.  He began to beat me down and claimed no one ever loved me.  He even said he would chop me up in pieces.”

During their marriage the victim said she was beaten about 20 times by Guin. A half dozen times the beating required medical treatment.  She had obtained a domestic violence restraining order against her husband.  It all changed on September 28th, 2018 when she reluctantly agreed to meet him after work.

The domestic violence victim did not wish to be named in this article but wanted others to see photos of just how severely she was injured in September 2018. Contributed photo

September 28-29, 2018
“I was at work. I kept receiving phone calls and messages off Facebook from Charles Guin Jr. to pick me up after I got off work. Around 9:30pm I picked him up at his mother’s house… He wanted me to drive him to buy crack cocaine. When I refused, he said to go buy meth and that if I kept arguing about it I could slide over and he could drive, and I needed to at least fake a smile and act happy, and that I was nothing but a stick in the mud.  I tried to take him back to his mother’s but he got to my apartment and immediately went to get high.  His demeanor was calm but pushy. We had sex and he instantly turned into another person.”

When Guin was on drugs he frequently hallucinated that he had witnessed his wife sleep with other men. The victim said she was faithful during their marriage but the accusations continued. This night was no different.

“He began questioning me about being at Twin Ponds earlier that day in a man’s vehicle and he said I looked right at him. He said he had ran out of gas and could see me giving a man oral sex. I denied it because it wasn’t me there and he spun and was laying on top of me telling me not to lie, that I had been caught and there was no getting out of it. I insisted it was not me and that I was at work during that time. He said I was lying about being at work. He started asking how long that day I had been at Twin Ponds turning tricks. Every time I said ‘no’ or ‘it wasn’t met’ he was hitting me either straight across the face or either punching me in the eyes.”

The domestic violence victim did not wish to be named in this article but wanted others to see photos of just how severely she was injured in September 2018. Contributed photo

“As I was pleading with him to stop, he took several breaks long enough to smoke crack (cocaine) and he pushed it at me to smoke and I started refusing and he told me I wasn’t ever to deny him. I hit it, then he broke the glass trying to push it and kept asking me to help him out.  I kept telling him I didn’t know how to help him. And I meant it. He said he was going to kill my f*cking ass if I couldn’t tell him the truth.  Then each time I would insist he would take his hand and clasp it over my throat pinching very hard and I began seeing everything with a cloudy haze around it.”

“I would get my hand or fingers up under his and loosen his grip around my neck. He jerked me up on my tip toes, and make (sp) me look at him as he would choke me out and he did this repeatedly. Then each time he would hit me in the temples with a closed fist and open hands to the point where I was having seizures. I could see him yelling at me and see his mouth moving but could not hear him or anything.”

I Felt Like I Was Going To Die
“I felt like I was going to die and I grabbed a knife – one of several – I had in my bedroom, and I stabbed him in his left side abdomen with it. He fought with me for the knife and I went to stab him again and with his trying to get the knife from me I stabbed him in the right side. He kept saying over and over that I had a bag of meth in my mouth and he didn’t understand why I wasn’t sharing. Every time I would tell him I had nothing in my mouth but saliva and blood he would run his entire hand down my throat searching for a bag of drugs.”

“Here I am 105 pounds and I don’t hurt people like this. I hate I had to hurt another person but I had to live.”

“He walked me over to the AC controls and turned it to where it would stay running and took me in the kitchen and turned the water on full blast. Each time he would hit me or squeeze my throat shut. If I would yell out in pain. He would tell me I was trying to get the police called on him so that is why he said he had the water and fan full blast to drown out the noise.”

“He repeatedly pulled my hair up and held it in a pony tail as he would hit me in my eyes. Every time I would throw my hand up to try and protect my eyes he would tell me to lower my hand. As he was holding my hair with one hand he would hit me so hard with his free hand. If I screamed out in pain he would say I was fighting him and repeatedly would jerk me extremely hard down into the kitchen floor and would kick me in the stomach and also slam his foot down into my windpipe area.”

Due to the lack of oxygen, being struck in the throat and being continuously choked, “I was seizing and seeing purple and blue lights. I was being hit so hard. I passed out. I was totally blind. I could taste blood in my mouth. I was half dead.”

It Was Apparent He Was Going To Kill Me
“We fought again over the knife and he held it to my throat and said he was going to cut me into tiny pieces and no one would find my body. I was taking hit after hit…  My throat was bleeding and he started yelling at me for stabbing him and I was apologizing and he kept repeatedly hitting my face so I pushed him into the blinds and ran to the front door and almost made it. He caught me and drug me back a little way and I was losing consciousness and started kicking me… he kept on hitting me for making noise. I just started giving up and stopped fighting because it was apparent he was going to kill me. I just stopped fighting. He drug me back to the bed. My eyes was swollen shut and I couldn’t hold my arms up and I was tired.”

9 Hour Beating Then 11 More Hours To Get Help
The victim said at this point the attack had been ongoing for 9 hours.  She believes Guin thought she had been beaten to death.  “I could hear birds chirping and I heard him looking through something and he was saying he was going to make it look like I had been robbed, take my money and my car.”

The attack had started around 10pm Sept. 28th. It was now 7am on Sept. 29th.  The victim, unable to see because of her swollen eyes and still barely able to breathe, couldn’t be sure Guin had left. She laid completely still on the couch still believing Guin thought she was dead. If he thought she was still alive the beating would resume. “I laid on the couch for what seemed like hours and could not breathe.”

“He called me a bitch and wanted to know why I wasn’t dead yet.”

“It was a true test of survival.”

Crawl Blindly To Summon Help
It took 11 more hours until 6:00pm that evening for the victim to gain enough strength and courage to crawl blindly to a neighbors home for help.  Not knowing if Guin was still there she crawled out her back door and tried to be quiet.  She had no idea what time it was until being told later by her neighbor and first responders.  “I could not see but crawled and found my way out the back door and banged on my neighbors door very weakly for help. He was able to walk me back to my apartment and called the police.”

The victim was rushed to the hospital. Doctors said she had 13 broken ribs, broken facial bones, two broken teeth, and a serious wrist injury.  She spent several days in the hospital and the following month at her mother’s recovering.

The Arrest And Trial
Charles Guin fled had already fled from the scene when Pine Level Police and Johnston County EMS arrived on September 29, 2018.  Pine Level Police Chief A.Q. Woodard said the victim had nearly been beaten to death.

Charles Guin Jr. 2018 Mugshot

Guin was located several days after the attack in Tennessee. He was returned to North Carolina to stand trial.  On Tuesday, Feb. 25th, 2020 a Johnston County Jury convicted Charles Guin of attempted first degree murder, felonious assault, and violation of a domestic violence protection order.

During the trial the victim testified against Guin, describing years of constant and violent domestic abuse and how he left her to die.  After the guilty verdict by the jury, a judge sentenced Guin to a minimum of 48 years to a maximum of  61 years in prison.

Chief Woodard told JoCoReport, “The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office and Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson did an absolutely great job prosecuting the case.”

“The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office is pleased with the verdicts and the sentence imposed,” Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson said after the trial. “They send the right message that domestic violence must be taken seriously and must not be tolerated by anyone in our community. The State wants to thank Pine Level Police Chief Woodard for the excellent investigation, HARBOR and everyone else that supported (the victim) throughout the process. Most importantly we want to thank (the victim), the brave survivor of these crimes.  (Her) courage in the face of such deadly and brutal force was heroic. We also thank her for bravely facing her abuser in court so that the jurors could know and see the truth about this vicious yet cowardly defendant. (She) and our community are safer today with Charles Guin in prison.”

The Aftermath
A statewide victim’s compensation fund paid nearly $30,000 in medical bills in 2018 for the victim but physical and emotional issues haven’t gone away.

“My eyesight is not good because of being hit so many times. I probably have a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. I forget where I’m going when I’m driving. I would love to get a brain scan but I can’t afford it. I was told to file for disability but to me that would be like giving up.  I don’t know no other way. I can’t afford to go to a doctor, even with insurance I can’t afford the co-pays.  I feel like I have an undiagnosed brain injury.  I have two teeth that remain broken. I have lost most of my sense of taste.”

“I have some cognitive issues. I can be driving down the road and panic. Sometimes I don’t know where I’m at. I’m in constant pain but can’t afford to go to the doctor. I want to look into programs to see if I can get some help.”

“He left me here to die. He left me here worse that what he would do to an animal.”

“I have (emotional) outbursts. I don’t go to a counselor. I don’t have anyone to talk to. I have been focusing on getting him put away.”

“We did it! We did it!  I don’t have to worry about him hurting anyone else. I think this is why I lived, to keep him off the street. Everyone is afraid of him.”

He Ruined Me
“He ruined me. I have to re-teach myself a lot. I am always on guard. There is not a room in my house that doesn’t have a weapon hidden and where I can reach it at all times. I will never have to live like this again.”

Despite the conviction, she is still afraid to put away the knives and rest easy at night.

“Friends tell me he is in jail. I say to them ‘things happen’. People break out all the time.”

Message To Domestic Violence Victims
“I want to tell my story. It may save a woman from abuse. It really does get worse. I am living proof. You don’t have to put up with that.”

“Get out when you see the signs. There are a lot of different forms of domestic abuse: emotional, financial, spiritual. There are so many different types of abuse, physical of course. When you start to see a red flag get out right then because they person they are showing you in the end is how they have always been.”

God Was There With Me
“God was there with me and he kept me alive. I don’t know why but he did.  He heard my call. He was there when I was all alone.”

The victim has turned to writing poetry to help express her feelings.

But if you save me to make sure I spread the word then it is my voice that will be heard.
Thank you for staying with me though that terrible night.
You made sure I was safe in your arms and comforted
Though there was pain, I knew I was alright.
You taught me a lesson about love and grace.
And now I must see him and stand up to him face to face.
Keeping him behind bars is going to force me a second time to fight for my life.
I am ready for it and ready to face him.
You’ll be there with me like you were that night.

Why Did You Save Me
Was it to go around telling people of your unwavering love?
Was it to tell non-believers that I was saved by the man above?
Was it to show me to keep the faith, that you wouldn’t leave my side?
Was it to let everyone know you are what was keeping me alive?
Was it to humble me, to let me know I needed to find God?
You sat me down that night letting me know I could count on you through it all.
I never asked for anything except your help, and you heard my call.
I would not wish on anyone the pain I endured.  

If you are a victim of domestic violence or want to learn more visit the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence website or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.  Locally, resources are available at Harbor of Johnston County or by calling their Crisis Line at 919-631-5478.