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Victim of Alleged Kidnapping Testifies that Her Then-Husband Ambushed Her in Bed in the Middle of the Night

Alisa Mathewson

Alisa Mathewson

The victim of an alleged kidnapping testified at her accused kidnapper’s trial, detailing the days-long horror she experienced at the hands of her alleged assailant.

Alisa Mathewson testified Tuesday that her estranged husband Trevor Steven Summers, 45, ambushed her in bed at her home in the early morning hours of March 11, 2017.

During direct examination, she said she woke up from a deep sleep at 3 a.m. to the sensation of water droplets on her face.

“And when I was trying to get my bearings, I realized there was a dark figure in my bedroom,” she said.

There were no lights on in her bedroom or in adjacent rooms, she said.

“I started to scream, ‘Who’s in my room? Who’s in my house?'” she testified.

The dark figure leaned against the against the wall as she kept screaming. Two of her younger children were in bed with her, and the voice told her to calm down.

She recognized the voice as Summers’, she testified.

Mathewson said that he dragged her off the bed by her feet.

Mathewson and Summers lived separately and were divorcing at the time, but authorities have said that Summers convinced their 14-year-old daughter, who had been sleeping on the couch at her mother’s home, to leave the window open for him to sneak into the residence in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Summers convinced his 14-year-old daughter to take the two kids to his home, Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Johnson told jurors Tuesday. (Mathewson and the defendant had a total of five children.) And yet Summers, who held Mathewson down on the couch as the kids went out the front door, told his estranged wife that his parents picked up the children, according to Mathewson’s testimony.

That alleged falsehood proved pivotal, with almost fatal consequences, two days later.

In the figurative last minute on Monday, defendant Summers walked back his decision to represent himself to charges. His attorney Anthony Marchese told jurors on Tuesday to match the facts of the trial to the actual law.

“The story that Ms. Johnson gave you is a story,” he said. “It is the state’s theory of what happened. A lot of it is true. A lot of it is also verified by Mr. Summers when he makes a statement. But we also have to follow the law. Look at the charges against him and see if the facts that you hear from that witness stand match up with the law, as you’re going to get instructed from the court.”

For example, without going into detail, Marchese suggested that the sexual assault case against Summers did not match the facts, drawing a distinction between what he described as “consent” and a victim’s “acquiescence.”

But Johnson was unequivocal about the claim, saying Summers sexually assaulted Mathewson during the time he had her captive at her home.

“It’s anything but consensual,” the prosecutor said.

Marchese maintained jurors would see nothing that indicated a hostile divorce.

During the initial time period, after the children had left but before the sexual assault, Summers tied up his then-wife by the wrists and ankles using scarfs he brought over, she testified. He allegedly put a sock in her mouth and wrapped a scarf around her head and mouth area. He got a nylon rope and “cocoon-wrapped” her entire body, she said. Then he got Christmas lights, which he used to tie her to the bed frame, she said.

Summers tried to kill Mathewson by getting on top of her with his full weight and smothering her with a pillow until she fell unconscious, Johnson said.

Mathewson survived, but Summers said they were going to a charter boat he prepared, according to her testimony. Johnson voiced skepticism that he meant this; she sometimes used air quotation marks on words like “boat.”

But the couple would never reach the water. After Summers took Mathewson’s vehicle to a Walgreens and left her tied up inside, Mathewson managed to open the door, calling for help and police, according to testimony. Summers allegedly managed to get out of the store, forcing Mathewson back into the vehicle and driving off, but an employee witnessed the whole thing and called authorities.

Randall Crobsy testified to being that Walgreens employee. He said he heard a woman running and screaming for help and the police. He saw that her hands were tied behind her back. He also saw a man leave the store and put the woman in the car. That’s when Crosby called 911.

Though recaptured, Mathewson changed the course of that kidnapping, according to her testimony. It allegedly prevented Summers’ plan to drop by his home, say goodbye to the children, and pick up his suitcase on the way to the boat.

Summers took Mathewson to a secluded area in Manatee County in an attempt to hide from law enforcement, the prosecutor said. At one point, he allegedly took her out of the vehicle at one point and said he was going to cut the ropes tied behind her back, but he cut her wrist “by accident,” Johnson said, making air quotations.

Mathewson testified that Summers told her that’s what she got for running out of the vehicle at the Walgreens.

Summers had her lay low with him through March 12, but by March 13 they had run out of food and water, so he went to a McDonald’s and Citgo gas station, according to Johnson.

Law enforcement finally found them on March 13, but it was apparently almost too late. According to Johnson in her opening statement, Summers asked Mathewson if she would really join him on the boat. Mathewson, testing the waters, said she would rather stay with the children, the prosecutor said.

From there, defendant Summers allegedly wrote several letters, including a “confession letter” about the home invasion and a note surrendering his parental rights. Summers also allegedly indicated that Mathewson could get his car, the money in bank account, and his home. There was allegedly also a letter to this children.

The situation, however, allegedly took a volatile turn when Summers was going to write a letter to his parents. Mathewson, still believing her in-laws had picked up her children, asked him why he would write a letter if they were involved, Johnson said.

Angry, Summers began to strangle her with a rope, the prosecutor said. Despite her hands being tied, Mathewson nonetheless managed to stop him, Johnson said.

That timing, according to the prosecution’s narrative, turned out to be fortuitous: it was then that Summers allegedly spotted an undercover cop car. Law enforcement confronted him as he began to cut his own neck with a razor blade, Johnson said.

Mathewson was saved. Summers, his neck appearing slashed but not bleeding in a mugshot, was arrested.

Trevor Steven Summers

Trevor Steven Summers

The judge scheduled Mathewson to continue her testimony Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.

[Screenshot of Mathewson via Law&Crime Network. Mugshot of Summers via Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]

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