Denison woman speaks out after home invasion, brutal assault

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - Ariel Holley was asleep at home on New Year's Day, when someone broke into her home.

"I woke up with a flashlight in my face and he told me to get up and follow me, I thought at first it was someone I knew," said Holley.

Holley says she followed Zachary Jolliff into the bathroom.

"Get to the bathroom, he's got his pants unzipped, he intended on raping me," said Holley.

His motive? Holley says he was jealous of her happiness, and knew the layout of her home because he had been hired over a year ago to do some work around the house.

"He puts his head in my chest, and crying on me. He sets me on the ground. At that point he said he was going to kill me. He tried snapping my neck, grabs me by the back of the neck and think he's going to drown me in the toilet, decided not to. Then he tried to gauge my eye out," said Holley.

She said Jolliff pinned her to the floor of the bathroom and tried to strangle her, and she tried to fight him off.

"I was able to get my leg wrapped around his neck, back of his neck, and I got him off of me and I was able to get up," said Holley.

She was able to escape momentarily, but said Jolliff got a hold of her and tried to snap her neck again, this time she passed out.

"I thought I was dead, then I was gurgling and couldn't get any air," said Holley.

Some time later, she woke up again, but Jolliff was still there.

"He thought I was dead. He told me 'I'm killing you, no one is going to know who did it. You're going to die,' He told me that multiple times," said Holley.

Holley says Jolliff tried to snap her neck several more times, before she passed out again.

During that time she said she thought about her kids, and then prayed.

"First I prayed for forgiveness. Then I asked for protection. Then I prayed for him to have peace, so that maybe he would change his mind or something. I think if I didn't pray I don't know if I would be here today. I was protected," said Holley.

After she woke up the attacker was gone, she believes he left because he thought he had killed her.

She was never raped.

Her cell phone just happened to be charging in the bathroom, she couldn't call 911, but did get through to her mother who called police.