Mom wants husband accused of attacking her daughter with meat cleaver to go free

Mom wants husband accused of attacking her daughter with meat cleaver to go free

POOLER, GA (WTOC) - Nearly six months after police say she was attacked by her stepfather with a meat cleaver -- 9-year-old Judy Chen has regained her sight.

Li Chen, 31, is charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, nine counts of child cruelty, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Police say Judy was struck in the head with the blade of the meat cleaver.

Judy's mother, Lisa Chen, invited WTOC into their home over the weekend for an exclusive interview.

Lisa Chen wanted the station's viewers to know that Judy has regained her sight.

A WTOC reporter asked her about her husband.

"I want, I need my husband coming home," she said.

Lisa Chen lives in a multi-generational home of 14, including Judy's 5-year-old brother.

"My baby, he need a daddy," Lisa Chen said.

She said Judy moved to China at age 2, after her biological father died of leukemia. Judy lived with her grandmother, then moved back to the U.S. after Lisa Chen re-married.

"My daughter, she need a daddy," Lisa Chen said of Judy's step-father.

A wedding photo of Lisa and Li still hangs on their bedroom wall.

Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew says while that may be shocking, it's not necessarily surprising.

"Often times, you'll see that in family violence incidents, where there is a misguided loyalty," he said.

Judy was camera shy and asked her mother what she should say. She said she hadn't been able to see anything in the hospital. Then she saw double.

"After I got home for a few days I didn't see it," Judy said. "And when I got to the doctor, the doctor gave me a patch to put on my eye for three hour a day and then I got back."

Revenew says his department is advocating for Judy and make child abuse victims a priority.
"Oftentimes they can be a silent victim," he said. "Not everybody speaks for them."
Police are still sorting out a motive for the crime.

Lisa told me her husband had been in a mental hospital and that he'd been struggling to re-pay $70,000 to people who'd gotten him into the United States.

Now Lisa says she's under financial strain.

"Now (that) he('s) not working, I('m) working," Lisa Chen said. "I need to take care of everything, my mom, my baby."

Lisa Chen says she doesn't know why Li Chen would've attacked her daughter.
Police are struggling to make sense the situation themselves.

"There's psychological dynamics that we'll never understand," Revenew said. "But that's not going to stop our efforts.

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