A 5-year-old Georgia girl is being credited with saving her mom’s life after she jumped onto the back of her uncle, who was stabbing her, thwarting the attack.
The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office awarded 5-year-old Ariana Mills with the “Merit of Bravery” Thursday for her heroic efforts to intervene in a family dispute that turned violent in February.
“Ariana’s actions likely saved the life of her mother,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a post on social media.
Authorities say Tyler Wayne Holloway, 32, began to stab his sister Carissa Mills repeatedly on Feb. 9, according to the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger News. Holloway later admitted to stabbing his sibling in the neck, head and back—all while Ariana looked on.
“This little girl was incredibly brave during the horrific attack on her mother,” Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ashe told the local paper. “She not only attempted to stop him from attacking her mother, she also participated in the 911 call and helped her mother after the attack.”
Holloway later pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, two counts of cruelty to children, and one count of family violence battery, according to court records.
As part of a negotiated plea deal, Holloway received a 30-year-sentence, of which the first 15 years will be served in prison. The remaining sentence will be carried out on probation. Under the agreement, he’ll also be required to undergo psychological evaluation and follow any recommended treatment guidelines while on probation.
“Nothing can erase this innocent child’s painful memories of witnessing the brutal attack on her mother, and nothing can take away the physical and mental anguish Carissa Mills endured,” Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace said. “But hopefully this sentence will bring closure for Ms. Mills and her daughter, who have both suffered so much, while also protecting the citizens of Cherokee County from any future violent acts at the hands of this dangerous man.”
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