Trevor Summers: Florida man, 45, convicted of kidnapping, raping and attempted murder of his ex-wife
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA: A man accused of kidnapping and raping his ex-wife while holding her hostage for two days was found guilty on all 11 counts, including attempted murder, the Tampa Bay Times reports. A jury found Trevor Summers, 45, guilty Friday night, August 26, after he acted as his own attorney and tortured his wife through questioning on the stand. He stood impassively while the verdicts were handed down. On Friday, Summers had refused to testify in his own defense and unsuccessfully tried to have a judge throw the case out.
Summers told jurors that his now ex-wife's story does not make sense. He allegedly kidnapped Alisa Mathewson, a mother of five, in 2017 when they divorced after 16 years of marriage. He also tied her to the bed with Christmas lights before sexually abusing her. But that was not all. Summers wrote a terrifying message to their children claiming that he and his estranged wife would be watching from heaven.
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Summers had previously fired a number of attorneys in the case that dates back to March 2017. He shot to notoriety earlier this week after he was able to grill Mathewson about the horrific attack he'd inflicted on her five years ago. He questioned her about the colors of the scarves that he allegedly used to tie her to the bed. Mathewson hit back, telling the court “I know those are the colors because you used them to tie me up after the struggle, so I know what colors they were.” On Friday morning, Summers got into a back-and-forth with Judge Christopher C Sabella about the law, as he attempted to put forward his motion to be acquitted. While attempting to make his case for acquittal, Summers remarked how "sex doesn't mean that much" to his ex-wife.
"I mean, that doesn't mean it's someone who is of that position can't be sexually battered just because sex doesn't mean that much to her," the judge responded. According to The Sun, Assistant State Attorney Jessica O’Connor told the court, “What this comes down to is a scorned lover." She accused Summers of being unable to “come to grips” that he and Mathewson were divorcing.
Summers also quizzed Mathewson on the sexual assault allegations. She told the court, “You broke into my home in the middle of the night… attacked me and tied me up.” The couple lived in different houses, as they were estranged and in the process of divorcing at that time. Three of their children were sleeping in the house at the time and their oldest daughter, who was 14, testified how her father made her leave a window open for Summers to get into the house. Summers recounted how he snuck into her home from Tuesday to Wednesday morning during a week in March 2017. Two of her younger children were in bed with her while her 14-year-old daughter was on the couch.
Holding back her emotions, the ex-wife added "Prior to having sex, you did push me, you did hold me down, you did tie me up, you did attack me, and you did break into my home when I was sleeping! You raped me!" Summers then asked, "So you're calling it rape?" She responded "It is. That is the definition of rape to come into someone's home and attack them and tie them up and then have sex with them! That is the definition of rape."
On Wednesday, Summers made a plea to Judge Christopher C Sabella during the morning break to represent himself during the latter part of the trial when his defense lawyers would typically be cross-examining the victim. The judge warned that he did not consider this a 'wise' decision but ultimately conceded to his request. He said Summers could not approach her while she was on the stand.
During the horrifying two-day ordeal in 2017, screaming Mathewson was hogtied and forced into a car, while her ex-husband drove through several counties, the trial heard. At one point, she says she attempted to escape while he stopped at a Walgreens parking lot, but he forced her back into the vehicle and sliced one of her wrists as punishment. A Walgreens employee witnessed the ordeal and called 911 at the time. The ex-wife claims he took her to a field in Manatee County, Florida, to hide from law enforcement but the Summers ran out of food and water. He was also going to take her on a chartered boat, but he brought her to a 'safe house' instead, she said. After an argument inside the car, Summer then started "strangling his ex-wife with a rope," but Mathewson was able to get him off, despite having her hands tied.
According to the prosecutor, it was at this moment that the kidnapped ex-wife spotted a cop car. When he saw the unmarked police car, Summers took the same razor blade he used to slice her wrist and started slitting his own throat, saying, "This is what love is. I'm laying my life down for you. You don't deserve this." Mathewson recalled the bloody ordeal and said she begged him to stop. He said he would cut the ropes off her, but she was able to get her hand out of the loop as law enforcement encircled the car. She testified "And at this point, law enforcement surrounded the vehicle. My door opened. I was grabbed and taken out."
A sentencing hearing is set to take place on October 3.