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Clarksville Woman Shoots Violent Ex-Boyfriend in Self-Defense

Originally ran here as:
Clarksville Woman Shoots Ex-Boyfriend in Self-Defense
by Christi Lowe
News 2, WKRN
August 21, 2001

A Robertson County woman shot her ex-boyfriend in an apparent case of self-defense. As of Tuesday night, he was in critical condition and police say she is lucky to be alive.

"He tore the screen out. He'd already opened up the window and was tearing the screen out when she woke up."

The victim was asleep in her bed, when police say the suspect broke into her Robertson County home and attacked.

Undercover Detective Richard Head explains, "She wrestled with him to try to keep him out. He was too strong and pushed his way on in."

Authorities say 42-year-old Leslie Joni Prater had nowhere to go so she went for her gun, a .38 caliber pistol.

"She went around the bed to get her weapon, and when she did, he went around the other side of the bed and lunged at her. She shot the first time and missed, hit the wall. And she shot again and struck him in the stomach."

The suspect is the victim's ex-boyfriend. Right after she shot him, police say she called 911 herself.

911 call: "I shot him. He's been after me for a year."

It wasn't the first time the suspect has bothered the victim. According to investigators, James Holodnak has been stalking the woman since they broke up in May.

"He would be in the lower driveway with his lights cut off...she was scared of him."

Neighbors told News 2 that the suspect broke into her house once before, only three weeks ago. But this time, he went too far.

"I feel like she was trying to protect herself."

"He is breaking in on her. So that makes me think she was in danger....so yes ma am, I think she was lucky."

The suspect was life-flighted to Vanderbilt where he is in critical condition.

If he survives, authorities say he may face criminal charges, possibly for stalking and home invasion.

As of Tuesday, police are not charging the woman with anything.


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