LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. – “I rolled down the window and I said ‘can I help you?’ and he pulled out the gun,” said Charnae Bottley.
At that moment, Bottley thought she’d never live to tell this story.
“Your mind goes blank, but then also you`re trying to figure out what to do,” she said.
She was at Smitty’s One-Stop getting an energy drink before class- something that was her everyday routine.
That’s when she says Nathan LeForce pointed a gun at her and stole her car.
What she didn’t know at the time was that LeForce had just shot and killed Logan County Deputy David Wade.
“I thought this was a random act. I didn`t know if this was like a hate crime. I didn`t know, I was just confused. I was dumbfounded,” she said.
Bottley says the only thing she could think to do at that moment was run.
“That fight or flight kicks in,” she said. “Maybe if I didn`t move as fast as I did… maybe he would`ve shot the gun.”
When she found out later about Deputy Wade’s murder, she says that’s when she realized how much danger she was really in.
“At one point a police officer told my dad to give me a hug because he could have lost me that day,” said Bottley.
LeForce was sentenced last week to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Bottley says even though she knows that, her fear doesn’t just go away.
“For so long I lived my life thinking maybe he`s gonna send somebody after me,” she said. “You start to fight with yourself like maybe I shouldn`t have just went, maybe I shouldn`t have stopped.”
While giving her testimony in court earlier this month, something happened that gave Charnae Bottley just a little bit of peace.
“He said he was sorry, and I needed that honestly.”
Now she’s hoping she can finally put all of this behind her.
“I let this situation stop me from doing a lot of things you know, I was scared. I just now found happiness again though, just now,” said Bottley.
Bottley tells us her new dream is to become an FBI agent.
“When this happened I was like no, I know what I want to do and I switched my major and I want to be in the FBI… and I’m going to be in the FBI one day,” she said.
LeForce is still scheduled for formal sentencing in September.