A woman whose husband is serving 12 years in prison for attempting to murder her in Montara last May because she asked for a divorce is suing him for the emotional distress and injuries he inflicted with the repeated beating and strangulation.
Susan Boyer is seeking damages for the actual injuries and a punitive amount from John Howard Hunt because he committed the abuse "with malice and oppression,” according to the suit filed Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court.
The May 5, 2012 attack left Boyer with cuts to her face and head, a loss of consciousness, great physical pain and significant emotional distress, the suit states.
Hunt, 67, of Julian, Calif., pleaded no contest in December to attempted murder and inflicting great bodily injury rather than stand trial on more charges of domestic violence and assault that could have imprisoned him for seven years to life.
Several of those same allegations are made against Hunt in Boyer's suit, including battery, domestic violence, assault and false imprisonment. The suit also claims intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Boyer and Hunt were married since September 2000, according to the suit. The document does not detail what led to the incident but prosecutors said during Hunt's criminal proceedings that his wife had requested a divorce over breakfast that day in Pacifica.
The couple reportedly drove down Highway 1 and Hunt pulled into a cul-de-sac near Montara where he asked her to get out and give him a hug. After the embrace, Hunt slammed his wife's head into the car several times until she fell to the ground where he further hit her. The woman told authorities he wrapped his leather belt around her neck until she couldn't breathe and she thought she was going to die.
Hunt forced his wife back into the car and took off again, with her feet dangling from the passenger side door, and she managed to reach up and turn off the ignition. Boyer reported she grabbed at a steel water bottle but he grabbed it away and held her head down while driving, according to prosecutors.
As he beat her inside the car, he threatened to kill her, according to Boyer's civil suit.
Once the green Subaru came to a stop, the profusely bleeding and disoriented woman ran to another car in search of help and that motorist drove to the first sheriff's unit available.
A case management conference in the civil suit is scheduled for June.
Boyer's attorney did not return a call for comment.
Michelle Durand can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.