Alex Lovell says he awoke, nearly in a dream state, to his girlfriend of two years striking him in the side of the head with the blunt end of a samurai sword. His survival instincts kicked in, he said, and he was ready: “She woke the dragon.”
“Everything happened so fast,” Lovell wrote Tuesday afternoon in a Facebook message to The Columbian, his first interview with the media since the attack. “I’ve been piecing everything together laying here in this hospital bed for the past week.”
The 29-year-old Camas man suffered extensive injuries, particularly to his limbs, as he tried to fight off his alleged attacker, Emily Javier, 30.
Court records say Javier told investigators she slashed Lovell with the sword, after finding the Tinder dating app on his cellphone and believing he was cheating on her.
She hid his cellphone so he couldn’t call for help and then attacked him in his sleep March 3 at their shared home, 2013 N.E. Garfield St., in Camas. Javier called 911 about 1:54 a.m. after she believed Lovell was dead, a probable cause affidavit states.
Responding officers found Lovell lying in the couple’s bedroom suffering multiple life-threatening lacerations. He remains hospitalized but is recovering.
Javier entered a not-guilty plea Tuesday morning to attempted first-degree murder in Clark County Superior Court. She wore an orange jumpsuit and looked more kempt than during her first appearance last week.
In a long and detailed message to The Columbian, Lovell wrote, using a stylus, “I’m alive and couldn’t be more proud of myself for winning the fight for my life.”
He says God was on his side.
Javier accidentally woke him up as she swung the sword at him, Lovell said, and he used his limbs to block her blows. At one point, he bear-hugged her and pleaded with her to stop.
“I told her I loved her, and she was killing me. She needed to call the police, or I was going to die,” he wrote.
Lovell said his index, middle and ring fingers on his left hand were “pretty much” cut off at the base. Doctors were able to reattach all of his fingers, he said, and he regained feeling in them.
“It just constantly burns and little spasms make me jump out of my seat. Ouch,” he wrote.
His right foot sustained a clean cut, Lovell said, but was stitched up and put in a boot so he can get in and out of his wheelchair. His left knee also suffered a laceration that required a metal plate to repair some of the bone, he said. Lovell will start rehabilitation in a few weeks.
Lovell’s right wrist is in a cast. He said he believes it’s fractured and has stitches for the lacerations. “But I can use three fingers to hold this (stylus) I’m using to message you on my phone,” he wrote.
He suffered some minor lacerations on his torso, he said, and a “decent cut” on the left side of his head, as well as bruising on his neck.
“The road, it’s all smooth sailing from here. I survived and have all the resources necessary to recover fully one day. I should be able to walk in six months, but it’s going to take hard work and dedication to relearn how to use my hands and legs,” he wrote.
Lovell shared a Facebook photo of himself Thursday at the hospital. He’s seen sitting in a wheelchair with visible lacerations around his neck and both arms heavily bandaged.
“Got to go on a small adventure outside today! Six days after attack, and I’m able to stand and sit (with a little help). Let’s goooo!” his Facebook post reads.
Another photo posted early Tuesday morning shows Lovell sitting outside with family. In that post, he joked with friends about rapping about samurais.
During Javier’s arraignment, Judge Robert Lewis appointed Vancouver attorney Chris Ramsay to represent her. She initially didn’t qualify for court-appointed counsel, based on her employment history. But she has since lost her job, Ramsay said.
Her trial was set for May 7. In the meantime, she remains in custody at the Clark County Jail on $350,000 bail.
The attempted murder charge carries a deadly weapon enhancement for the sword — an additional two-year penalty, if the enhancement is found to be true.
‘Tonight was the night’
Court records say that when police arrived at the couple’s house, Javier — covered in blood and crying — walked outside with her hands up. She said, “He’s in there. I just stabbed him. You guys need to help him!” police wrote in the affidavit. She was taken into custody without incident.
Javier told investigators she was tired of Lovell sitting at home playing video games all day and not helping around the house, according to court records.
She also found what she believed to be evidence that Lovell was cheating on her, in addition to his Tinder profile, she said.
About a week before the attack, Javier discovered sexually suggestive scratches on Lovell’s back and red hair in the shower drain, court documents state. Her hair is dyed blue-green.
But rather than confront Lovell about her suspicions, Javier went to a mall and purchased the samurai sword. She told investigators she had been plotting to stab Lovell with the sword in the week leading up to the attack, the affidavit said.
Her anger reached its boiling point the night of March 2 when Lovell came home and ignored her. She said that “she decided tonight was the night she was going to do it,” police wrote in the affidavit.
Javier hid the sword and two knives she had taped together on her side of the bed. She waited for Lovell to fall asleep, grabbed the sword and began stabbing Lovell and swinging it at him, court records state.
Police said, “Her plan was to kill her boyfriend and then herself,” according to court documents.
Lovell has seen the news stories pegging him as an unfaithful person who plays video games all day, which is half-true, he said.
He’s a professional gamer who over the last few months has been training hard. Members of his gaming community, “Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds,” set up a GoFundMe page for Lovell and has raised $8,060 of its $10,000 goal as of Tuesday evening.
“I barely had time to hang out with my girlfriend, let alone another girl,” Lovell wrote, adding that he had Tinder before meeting Javier but was no longer using the app.
Lovell said his and Javier’s relationship had been rocky since the beginning and that jealousy was a recurring theme.
“I didn’t see it coming, but it makes sense that it happened. She obviously didn’t want anyone else to have me so, samurai sword,” he wrote.