Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Aug 27, 2008
RePrintPrint E-mail Font Resize Stab victim says she wakes up seeing 'fire and his face' RECALLS HARROWING EVENTS THAT LEFT HER FRIEND DEAD By Sandra Gonzales Mercury News Article Launched: 08/05/2008 01:33:08 AM PDT
All Maia Porter really remembers of that harrowing morning are scattered snapshots: playing cards, laughing, drinking shots. Then suddenly, waking up to fire, with lighter fluid being poured over her body.
Her friend, Tamika Austin, lay next to her, already dead. Austin had been stabbed twice and lit on fire by a man police say she had been dating.
Telling her story for the first time in a video posted to YouTube, Porter described how she survived the wild morning of violence that left her bloodied, stabbed and with third-degree burns on July 31.
"I made it," Porter said. "I still wake every hour. . . . I see fire and his face behind it."
Monday, Barry Anthony Monroe, 40, appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court for the first time, charged with Austin's murder, four counts of attempted murder and one count of arson.
Monroe is suspected of stabbing Austin, 31, twice then setting her body on fire inside her home on East Taylor Street in San Jose. He also stabbed and set fire to Porter, who was found by police one block from the house, investigators said.
"He left Austin's three children in the burning house when he fled," Sgt. Anthony Mata wrote in a court statement.
Austin's eldest child, 10, grabbed his two sisters, 9 and 3, and ran next door to get help.
Porter was released from the hospital Monday night.
"It's just painful," said Porter in a brief interview with the Mercury News.
Her father said, Advertisement "it's a miracle" she's alive.
Don Sanders, Porter's cousin, who made the YouTube clip, said contrary to early reports Porter was not Austin's roommate, but a good friend.
In the 10-minute video, Porter recalled only snippets of that night. She, Monroe and Austin were playing cards, laughing, drinking shots. She then blanked out. The next thing she knew, she woke up in a dark living room on the floor with Austin at her side.
"I see fire, flames. I'm like, 'The house is on fire,' " Porter said. "I tried to get up and he pushed me back down and then I tried to get up again and then he started swinging and punching me. I started blocking my face, then I fell down again."
Monroe, Porter said, then threw lighter fluid on her. Her leg caught on fire. "I burned my hands trying to put the fire out. Then he went to Tamika, he put a lot on her."
At the time, Porter said, she was talking to Monroe, trying to calm him down.
When he went to the back of the house, Porter said, she made her escape.
She ran to apartments, asking for help. Finally someone opened a door and told her they called 911. "I didn't even know I was stabbed. That's why my lung collapsed."
She remembers waking up in the hospital with stitches above her left eye.
"I didn't find out she was dead until the next day. We have no idea, no clue why he did it, maybe it was something personal between them."