Even after sheriff’s deputies arrived at her Weston, Fla., home, Kristen Lennon remained in the bathroom, afraid to leave. Minutes earlier, she had fled there for safety as she called 911, telling the operator that her fiancé had thrown her on the bed and hit her in the face and head. She was two months pregnant.
“Please help,” Ms. Lennon said, her voice shaking. “He’s way bigger than me.” The couple’s first child was nearby in their bedroom.
On the other side of the bathroom door was Phillip Merling, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound defensive end for the Miami Dolphins.