Oklahoma man headed to prison after allegedly attacking his paraplegic ex-wife

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GRANT COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma man is headed to prison after he allegedly attacked his paraplegic ex-wife.

Clay Gardner, 49, was arrested in March after sheriff’s deputies found him at a home near the Garfield-Grant county line – with blood literally on his hands.

The Sheriff’s Office was responding to a 911 call from a woman who said she was being stabbed.

That woman told NewsChannel 4 her ex-husband became violent after a minor argument.

“I knew I was going to die,” said Deanna, who wanted to keep her last name private. “I couldn’t breathe, and I thought, ‘This is how I’m going to die, and this is how my son is going to find me.'”


Deanna, a paraplegic, said Gardner came into her bedroom and smashed a framed picture over her face and began choking her until she passed out.

Deanna, a paraplegic, said Gardner came into her bedroom and smashed a framed picture over her face and began choking her until she passed out.

When she regained consciousness, she said Gardner was entering her room with a kitchen knife, attempting to stab her.

Deanna suffered lacerations to her face and a finger and several small wounds to her chest.

She tried to call 911 but said Gardner took the phone away from her.

A second call got through, but she was unable to give dispatchers her location during a struggle.

“I’m trying to just fight for my life is what I was doing, in survival mode,” she said. “Obviously, I’m in a wheelchair, I’m a fighter. I didn’t give up when I got paralyzed, but I think my kids, my grandkids, I didn’t want them to know that’s how I got killed, by his hands.”

When sheriff’s deputies did make it to Deanna’s home, they saw Gardner’s “hands covered in blood,” and a sergeant “removed a large kitchen-style knife from his left and rear jeans pocket,” according to the police report.

Deputies entering the home found Deanna in her wheelchair, covered in blood.

According to the police report, she repeatedly yelled “he tried to kill me.”

Officers also “noted a large amount of blood on the floor and in the bed” and found a Ruger 9mm pistol, an additional knife in a kitchen sink and “a clear plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance.”

Multiple officers reported thinking Gardner was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Gardner told deputies Deanna had smashed a bottle of wine on her own head and called the police to have him arrested.

Clay Gardner

Clay Gardner

Gardner was arrested for:

  • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Domestic Assault and Battery by Strangulation
  • Possession of a Firearm after Former Conviction
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance

This week, a judge sentenced Gardner to serve 20 years in prison for the charges; however, he will likely only serve six years in prison.