The story was absurd enough when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram first reported it earlier this week. Tempie Strickland, an 80-year-old Fort Worth woman fed up with her ex-husband's lip and his late-night trips to the barber shop and bingo hall, allegedly tried to murder him on Sunday. Police said she would have done it, too, had the revolver not jammed, though she insists otherwise.
"I pulled a gun, but I wasn't shooting at him. I was scaring him, you know," she told Fox 4 in a jailhouse interview. "I didn't turn it to him and the bullet didn't go off, and I didn't do it no more."
The two of them had a complicated relationship. They were married for almost four decades, divorcing a couple of years ago but remaining in the same house. Even though 73-year-old Sterling Strickland called the cops on his former wife, he didn't want her to go to jail.
Yet go to jail she did, and she stayed there for three nights. Her attempted murder charge carried with it a $100,000 bond, which she did not have the means to post. "I don't know [when I'll get out]," she told Fox 4. "They never did tell me. I might be in here the rest of my life."
Her charge was reduced to aggravated assault and her bail was dropped. Then, Atlanta-based radio host Rickey Smiley, heard locally on KBFB-FM 97.9 The Beat, came to her rescue.
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I just posted bail for the 80yr old lady in Ft Worth Tx. So happy
— Rickey Smiley (@RickeySmiley) November 13, 2013
Fort Worth attorney Bobbi Edmonds arranged for Smiley to post the bail. "I think he heard the story just like everybody else yesterday when it was on the news," she says. He couldn't sleep, so he felt compelled to do something about it.
Strickland was released from jail late this morning. Edmonds says she was picked up by church members, whom she will be staying with for the next few days.