Trevor Summers acts as own attorney, cross-examines ex-wife he's accused of kidnapping, attempting to kill

Thursday brought another wild twist in Trevor Summers' attempted murder trial

Summers is accused of kidnapping his estranged wife, Alisa Mathewson, and plotting a failed murder-suicide back in 2017

He spent years hiring and firing attorneys, causing years of legal delays. A few months ago, a judge allowed him to represent himself. On the first day of his trial, he had a change of heart and requested that his stand-by defense attorney take over. Now he has changed his mind again.

Judge Christopher Sabella questioned Summers extensively about the risks before allowing him to act as his own attorney.

PREVIOUS: After five years of delays, Trevor Summers heads to trial in kidnapping and failed murder-suicide plot

The decision to represent himself led to some bizarre moments in the Tampa courtroom.

Alisa Mathewson, Summers' ex-wife and his alleged victim in the case, would now be cross-examined by her accused attacker, and her discomfort was evident.

She refused to look at Summers during his questioning.

Defendant cross-examines victim

First, Summers challenged Mathewson on the evidence, including the color of the scarves she said he used to bound her.

"I know those are the colors because you used them to tie me up after the struggle, so I know what colors they were," she answered.

"OK," Summers conceded sheepishly.

Mathewson remained calm and composed when Summers asked her about his first alleged attempt to kill her.

"You came in and put the pillow over my face, full force," she recalled.

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Summers followed up, "In your statement, you said the look on my face was of death?"

"Evil and hatred," Mathewson replied.

Summers continued his line of questioning.

"I believe your statement was that you knew I was going to kill you when you saw my face? How did you know what was in my heart? What was in my mind?" he asked.

Mathewson fired back, "All I saw was an expression of evil and hatred, and at that time I thought, ‘He’s here to kill me. I'm going to die.'"

‘The pain was so incredible’

On March 11, 2017, Mathewson and her estranged husband Trevor Summers were going through a bitter divorce. The couple's five kids were living with her. Despite a restraining order against him, prosecutors say that didn’t stop Summers.

They say Summers tricked his daughter Arden, who was 14 years old at the time, to leave a window unlocked for him — allowing him to break into Mathewson's house and attack her in her bedroom, where she would be kept against her will for hours.

Alisa Mathewson says her estranged husband, Trevor Summers, used Christmas lights to tie her to her bed.

Alisa Mathewson says her estranged husband, Trevor Summers, used Christmas lights to tie her to her bed.

"He used the Christmas lights to tie me to the bed rails, at one time being hog-tied," she tearfully testified. "The pain was so incredible."

The mother of five cried on the stand as she recounted how Summers raped her twice, then tried to smother her to death with a pillow. She passed out and then woke up in a panic.

She said Summers then forced her into her own car and drove to a Walgreens. That's where Mathewson, with her hands tied behind her back, tried to make her escape.

A Walgreens employee saw everything and called 911.

She said Summers then drove them to what she described as a "safe house" in a remote area of Ruskin.

As police closed in, Summers wrote goodbye letters to his children, then tried to cut his own throat just before his arrest, prosecutors said.

Mathewson had been rescued in the nick of time.

"I was in complete shock. I can't believe I'm alive," she testified.

Summers faces a number of charges, including two counts of attempted murder, sexual battery, and kidnapping. The trial is expected to wrap and go to the jury on Friday.