MACCLENNY, Fla. – A Baker County man convicted of attempting to kill his ex-wife was sentenced to three life sentences on Wednesday.
The State Attorney’s Office says he’s also sentenced to 27 years.
“I was happy, for my justice. I was happy. And I guess we could say, bittersweet,” said survivor Tara Evans.
Ricky Tisdale was convicted of eight charges, according to the State Attorney’s Office. His three life sentences include attempted murder, kidnapping and armed burglary.
Evans said she is grateful she lived to see justice.
“I feel safer. Anything can happen in the life that we live today but as far as being hurt by someone that I loved and was actually close to, I feel safer,” she said.
Evans gave her testimony in the three-day trial about the night she nearly died.
“It was sure to me that that would be my last night alive,” Evans said.
She and her sister in law, Shauna Mills, just returned to Evans home from a night out.
She says Tisdale barged in.
He tied up Mills, then kidnapped, beat and shot Evans two times.
“He took me out at gunpoint and the violence began as soon as we pulled out of my driveway. The gunshots came. The bashing of the face, then he continues to drive me for hours and hours until I convinced him to turn around,” Evans said.
Court records show Evans had just filed for divorce and filed a domestic violence injunction.
She had filed another injunction earlier that year, but it was denied.
“I gave a victim’s impact statement yesterday and I just explained to him that I wasn’t angry with him and I actually forgave him, because that’s going to be the only way that I can live my life and receive my blessings from God,” Evans said.
Now that he’s locked up for life, Evans is relieved knowing that Tisdale won’t put her or anyone else through a nightmare again.
Evans says now she is just taking it day by day.
She hopes her ex-husband can learn to find peace with himself.
Evans, who had several surgeries and spent more than 60 days in the hospital and a rehab facility, has a message for others in domestic violence situations.
“The message that I have for other women are stop giving the benefit of the doubt. When you see the first sign and you know its time to go. Exit. Make your way out. Because the more you accept, the more they’re going to want you to endure and that can lead to death,” she said.
Resources for domestic violence victims are available throughout Northeast Florida:
- Hubbard House (Baker and Duval counties): hubbardhouse.org or 904-354-3114
- Family Life Center (Flagler County): familylifecenterflagler.org or 386-437-3505
- Micah’s Place (Nassau County): micahsplace.org or 904-225-9979
- Betty Griffin Center (St. Johns County): bettygriffincenter.org or 904-824-1555
- Quigley House (Clay County): quigleyhouse.org or 904-284-0061
- Lee Conlee House (Putnam County): leeconleehouse.org or 386-325-3141
- Peaceful Paths (Bradford, Alachua & Union counties): peacefulpaths.org or 352-377-8255