Memphis, Tennessee

From Memphis’ of March 29, 2007

Attacker strikes same place twice, but runs out of luck

A man who stopped a kidnapping and the woman he saved are telling their stories.

Their stories begin with a tale of a man who came looking for his ex-girlfriend. He threatened her life and took her money. He got away with it once.

He was not so lucky the second time around.

Sharon Hamblin worked as a caregiver for 85-year-old Louise Hardin.

Last week, Hamblin’s past came back to haunt her.

“I came here to kill you but I changed my mind” were the words she remembered coming from her ex-boyfriend, Gary Stewart, who police say broke into the home through a bedroom window.

“He said give me all the money you got,” she recounted.

Stewart then forced her and Hardin into the car and made them drive to West Memphis so Hamblin could cash a check for nearly $300.

Stewart took the money and let the two of them go.

“Officer first on the scene told me it’s possible this man may come back,” said Louise Hardin’s son Kent. He came to live in the house to protect his mother and her caregiver.

Three days later, as the officer had warned, Gary Stewart was back after breaking the glass on this garage door.

“I woke up and looked out and saw the perpetrator with a knife to the caregivers throat,” said Kent Hardin.

That’s when Hardin grabbed his gun. Meanwhile, Hamblin was being forced to the car again.

“I was backing up and I saw Kent come out the back door,” she said.

“I ran out with the gun, opened up the car door and stuck it in his face,” added Kent Hardin.

“I put the car in gear and I jumped out of the car and got on the ground,” said Hamblin.

Kent Hardin added, “When he looked up and saw the gun he just kind of faded, melted.”

“He told Gary Stewart, get out of the car get out of the car!” said Hamblin.

“He just rolled out of the car and laid down here in the garage floor put his arms in front of him, his feet back and I held the gun on him.”

Hardin says five minutes later, the police arrived.

Stewart is charged with kidnapping, assault and burglary. He also faces robbery charges in West Memphis.

On top of that, he could face federal charges as well. His court date is set for April 13th.

Sharon Hamblin says her biggest mistake was telling Stewart where she worked. Hamblin is no longer working for the Hardin family.


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