Meredith said that incident was not the first time her husband had threatened her. Police had been called to the house in 2005 for domestic violence.
“In John’s own words, he said, ‘‘Til death do us part,” she said.
Meredith said she realized she had to be the one to protect their two children, who are now ages 8 and 10.
“Nothing about this event is age appropriate,” she said, allowing that neither of her children, both victims as well, know all the details of what happened that day.
A custody case involving the children is still moving through Essex County courts.
Meredith described the challenges of bringing the case through the court system.
“Decisions about contact with the man who nearly killed me were beyond my control,” she said.
Essex County has no provision or resource for supervised visitation.
Out on bail, John was allowed to live with family in a nearby community with a GPS monitor on his ankle.
But police came to Meredith’s house at 4 a.m. one day because they had lost track of him.
“The time John was out on bail was the most terrifying time of my life,” Meredith said aloud in court.
“I didn’t know how to explain to my daughter that, if her father showed up, she should dial 911.”
She said their daughter has said she, too, is afraid that her daddy might hurt her like that.
During visitation, supervised by members of John’s family, he told the children he would be out of prison in seven or eight years, Meredith said.
“I will always see John as a threat to me and my children,” she said.
“I dread the day he is released.”
Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague told Meyer that John King is a master manipulator who can twist facts.