She suffered severe burns after a man threw acid in her face.
In 2015, 62-year-old D. Alexandra Dyer had just left work around 5 p.m. and was walking down the street in Queens, New York. There was nobody else on the block except for one man sitting next to her parked car. A chill went down her spine.
“I saw him lunge at me, and as he lunged at me, he said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ But I didn't really go full-face toward him, I kept sort of tucked, and then I felt this thrown in my face. And for the briefest second, I thought, why did he throw water on me? And then I was on fire, I was totally on fire,” she told Inside Edition.
The liquid was lye, a caustic commercial drain cleaner.
“I'm just shrieking, and then I heard a woman screaming, ‘Oh my God, she's turning purple.' So obviously the lye was doing its job and it was eating my flesh,” she said. “I knew immediately [who did it]. When I was in the street shrieking, I kept saying, make sure nothing goes in my mouth because if I can speak, I can't tell you who did it, and it was Kim Williams. I knew, I knew who it was.”
Williams was Dyer's bookkeeper at a nonprofit organization she ran. After Dyer discovered Williams had embezzled $750,000 from the charity, Dyer confronted her about the missing funds. Williams enlisted Jerry Muhammad to attack Dyer and cover up the scheme.
“I think they wanted me dead,” Dyer declared.
Dyer spent almost two months in the hospital undergoing numerous skin grafts and procedures. Getting used to her changed appearance took time.
“I would look in the mirror and I would just ask, ‘Where are you, Alexandra?’ and I couldn't see me. And one day, I looked in the mirror and I said, ‘there you are, there you are! You're coming back.’ It'd be so easy to just let go, and then you say, nope, nope. And here I am. I look at me and I see me. I see my eyes, I see my cheeks, you know? I see my smile,” she said.
Both defendants pleaded guilty, and Williams was sentenced to 17 years last month. Muhammad received his sentence in court Tuesday.
“The defendant used her position to steal thousands of dollars in funding from a non-profit that helped society’s most vulnerable individuals. Working with another individual, the defendants inflicted serious bodily harm to an unsuspecting woman, and in doing so, left the victim with life-altering injuries to her face and body. The lengthy sentence imposed by the court today is appropriate given the heinous nature of the crime,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.