KHQ EXCLUSIVE: Victim In Vicious Assault Speaks Out About The Attack


SPOKANE, Wash. - Debbie Watkins was out on the Centennial Trail near her home Thursday afternoon, when she walked by a man she didn't know, who asked her for the time. When she was getting out her phone to answer, he attacked. 

Debbie spoke exclusively with KHQ on Saturday and talked about the frightening ordeal. 

"He just pulled his hand out of his pocket and started whacking me."

Debbie started screaming for help but her shrieking cries for help didn't even make her attacker hesitate. "He just wouldn't let up, that was the weird thing, he just kept hitting and hitting, it was like he was just angry," Debbie recalled. 

The attack lasted only 30-40 seconds, but just that short amount time, left an emotional scar. 
Debbie was taken to the hospital where doctors stitched up her head with about 5-6 stitches near the crown. 

"When I saw him raise his hand, at first I was like this is not happening. I have never had anything like this happen in my life."

And as the man, she later identified as 17-year-old Avondre Graham was beating her, her thoughts drifted to those she loves.

"I was thinking about my kids, about oh my gosh this is not how I want them to find me dead, and I was thinking I am do die. And then I was like no I am not going to die this way."

Debbie's cries for help were eventually heard by a nearby maintenance worker, who chased after the suspect and watched him in the river until police arrived. 

Debbie said that even though she's pretty beat up, she is just glad that her attacker was caught.

"I am going to recover, I have great friends and family, I am going to do just fine. I have a good support system.  I am a survivor, not a victim. I am not going to let it change my life."

Avondre Graham is scheduled to have his first court appearance on Monday. Police are exploring the possibility that Graham may be linked to the murder of Sharlotte McGill, who was killed in the same area back on May 3rd, 2012.


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