Woman testifies in Article 32 for GI’s flashlight assault case
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Her long locks are shaved away, but Angelika Gruber’s hair is just starting to grow back. Enough at least to conceal the cuts she says her ex-boyfriend inflicted in an act of rage that left her with a fractured skull.
Sgt. Stevie M. Huff, 25, a mechanic assigned to 554th Military Police Company out of Stuttgart, Germany, is charged with premeditated attempted murder in connection with allegations he repeatedly beat Gruber over the head with a flashlight.
An Article 32 hearing, which determines whether Huff will face a court-martial, was held Monday in Kaiserslautern. A decision is expected in a matter of days.
On May 26, Gruber was left bleeding and locked inside her Hauptstuhl apartment. Her attacker fled with Gruber’s cell phones and keys, leaving her trapped, according to Army prosecutors.
Gruber, 28, was the first witness to testify during the hearing, where she described how a nine-month relationship with Huff rapidly disintegrated during the weeks leading up to the attack. During the evening of May 26, Huff arrived at Gruber’s apartment to collect belongings he had kept there during their relationship, she testified.
Gruber said the last thing she remembers before the assault was sitting on her couch reading the mail. After that, Gruber says she was in and out of consciousness. After coming to, Gruber said she saw Huff standing at the door with a flashlight.
“He was standing there doing nothing,” she said.
Huff left, and help arrived after her neighbors heard her screams
“She kept calling for help. ‘Please hurry, please hurry,’” said neighbor Norman Kienlen, who was hosting a party in a downstairs apartment.
After calling German police, Kienlen went outside and noticed a blue SUV in the parking lot, which he had seen Huff drive previously. Keinlen testified that he didn’t get a good look at the person driving the car on the night of the attack, however.
When German authorities arrived, they kicked in the door to Gruber’s apartment.
“Her face was bloody, and her hair was all bloody,” Kienlen said.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Tomlin, who performed surgery on Gruber at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, testified that three cuts on the skull indicated three separate blows to the head. The skull fracture ran from ear to ear across the top of the skull, he said.
“It represents one of the larger fractures I have seen,” Tomlin said.
Huff did not take the stand during the hearing.
David Court, Huff’s attorney, during a cross examination of Gruber, indirectly suggested she was out for money.
“Why do you have a German attorney?” Court asked. Does Gruber intend to file a civil claim against Huff? Court asked. “I sure will,” Gruber said.
Huff also faces charges of assault consummated by battery, which allegedly occurred between May 1 and May 26 in Hütschenhausen, Hauptstuhl and Landstuhl; one count of kidnapping; and one count of adultery.