Guyda Louise Stike has known Ray Edward Bright all of his life. She says she treated her neighbor like a grandson.
That's why, Stike testified last week, she has no idea what caused the 22-year-old man to turn on her, attacking her in the bedroom of her Street home on April 27, 1990.
"He grabbed me around the throat," the 76-year-old Stike testified. "I passed out. . . . I wasn't expecting anything like that."
Stike, who uses a wheelchair, testified Thursday at Bright's trial in Harford Circuit Court, where he stands accused of beating and choking the woman.
Bright has been charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim, and assault and battery. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
Testimony in the trial before Judge William O. Carr will continue tomorrow.
Stike described her family and the Bright family as "very close friends," having lived a quarter-mile apart for decades.
Stike testified that shortly after noon on April 27, 1990, she was alone in her home when Bright arrived while she was watching the television news in her bedroom. He went to the bedroom, where they chatted briefly.
As they talked, the woman testified, Bright got a "strange look" on his face and shouted, " 'I'm sick and fed up with you putting down my family.' . . . That's the last thing I remember before he put his hands around my throat."
Bright, who has not testified, told police after the incident that he had been home between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and listed numerous relatives who saw him.
Bright's aunt, Pat Miller, who was called to testify by Assistant State's Attorney Michael Sanger, told the jury of nine women and three men that Bright did not come home until about 12:30 p.m.
Stike was found lying unconscious about 12:45 p.m. by her grandson, Donald Stike, who was living with her at the time.
Donald Stike testified that he rushed his grandmother to a Whiteford doctor, who called for an ambulance.
Miller, who is divorced from one of Stike's sons, was a paramedic on the ambulance crew. She said that when the ambulance arrived, Stike was unconscious and had a black eye, a bloodied face and red marks on her neck.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney David Solomon, Miller said she did not note on her report that Stike had red marks on her neck because paramedics generally document only the most serious injuries.
The paramedic added that a physician, who did not examine Stike, told her that the woman might have had a stroke.
Miller noted on her report that Stike suffered a "possible" stroke.
Reviewing Fallston General Hospital reports presented by Solomon, Miller said they show that doctors said Stike had a "probable" stroke.
Solomon told the court the reports did not say Stike had been strangulated until the victim regained consciousness and reported that Bright had attacked her.