By: Marcos Ortiz
Posted: Jun 08, 2018
PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Hayley Peterson fought to stay alive. She didn’t want her children to be motherless.
Peterson spoke publicly for the first time after surviving a brutal attack during a home invasion at their Orem home last year. Her 4-year-old daughter was also physically attacked that night.
Rodolfo Villalobos pleaded guilty to the crime and Friday was sentenced to prison.
Prior to sentencing, Peterson addressed the court, telling the judge that she and her daughter are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the events that night.
“I am grateful to be alive,” she told the judge. “While he was attacking me I thought I was going to be murdered. I fought like hell for my life. I had to live to protect my children.”
Her children were in the home but their father was not. He was on duty. Steve Peterson is an officer with Unified Police Department. He said it was the hardest call he ever had to take. His neighbor called him with the news.
“She was hysterical,” Peterson said. “I didn’t even recognize who she was.”
He eventually learned his wife and daughter were brutally attacked in their Orem home.
Afterward, Steve Peterson who also requested the maximum sentence said his family did achieve justice. But he also walked away knowing that his wife still regrets not being able to protect her children.
“It was extremely heartbreaking to hear that,” Peterson said. “That was probably the hardest thing today is to hear that. But by no means did she fail to protect anybody. She was truly the hero that night."
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