A West Valley woman had just stepped out of the shower when she was startled by her estranged husband. He carried in his hands a roll of duct tape, a loaded shotgun and a bottle of vodka.
He talked about "spending a last day with my wife."What happened next was a nightmare the woman hasn't been able to forget - a nightmare of violence and terror.
"I didn't intend to kill her," Thomas Marshall Speer told the Board of Pardons Friday. "I suppose I wanted to hurt my wife by killing myself in front of her."
Speer never had the chance to kill either his wife or himself. Neighbors had seen Speer's car in front of the house and called West Valley police. He was arrested and later convicted of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault.
Board of Pardons members Victoria Palacios and Gary Webster called the crimes "very scary" and agreed Speer would serve a long prison sentence before he would ever be released. But just how long they couldn't agree on.
The board will reconvene the hearing when board member Paul Boyden returns. "I can tell you the lowest bid we had was a seven year rehearing," said Palacios.
Palacios had earlier told Speer that "someone this dangerous is a candidate for life in prison."
According to testimony presented at the hearing, Speer terrorized his wife for most of their marriage, beating her on several occasions and holding a gun against her head, though Speer denied the final allegation.
"It (spouse abuse) is a problem many women face. It's a problem that needs to be taken seriously," said Palacios. "Often a man can sentence his wife to life in prison in a marriage."