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Stabbing suspect leads deputies on high-speed chase

by: COURTESY OF CCSO - A 25-year-old Milwaukie woman was arrested early Friday morning, March 15, after Clackamas County sheriff's deputies said she took a patrol car and led them on a high-speed chase before crashing near Molalla.A 25-year-old Clackamas woman was arrested early Friday morning after Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies said she took a county patrol car and led them on a high-speed chase from Mulino to Molalla.

Tara AxmakerTara Axmaker was lodged in the Clackamas County Jail on charges of felony attempted murder, first-degree aggravated theft, attempted assault to a police officer, unauthorized use of a vehicle, eluding a police officer, reckless driving and parole violation. Her bail was set at $77,500.

She is set to appear in Clackamas County Circuit Court on Monday, March 18.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Adam Phillips said the incident began around 1 a.m. Friday, March 15, when deputies were dispatched to the 16800 block of South Howards Mills Road near Mulino, where a person had been stabbed.

The victim was identified as 33-year-old Matthew Savage of Beavercreek. Savage was taken to a hospital by Life Flight helicopter. He was listed in fair condition.

The motive for the attempted murder is still under investigation. The use of methamphetamines by the suspect plays a significant role, according to the sheriff's office.

As deputies arrived at the Mulino house, they noticed another county patrol car leaving the scene. A call to dispatchers confirmed that the car had been stolen and deputies began chasing the car.

The chase came to an end when the driver of the stolen patrol car lost control in Molalla and crashed at the intersection of Highway 213 and Molalla Avenue.

Phillips said the woman driving the stolen patrol car could be heard yelling on the law enforcement radio.

Axmaker was involved in another stabbing incident three years ago in Molalla, police said. On Thursday, April 8, 2010, at 6:41 a.m., Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported stabbing assault at 12619 S. Wilderness Way in Molalla.

Kelly Glenn Christensen, 47, who lived at that address, called 9-1-1 reporting that he’d been stabbed by Tara Elizabeth Axmaker, 22, of Molalla, police said.

That incident also involved a police chase of a suspect vehicle, this time across pastures and fields. Axmaker was not driving the car involved in that chase.

Axmaker was arrested an hour later near the Molalla crime scene. Police said she was lodged in the Clackamas County Jail on a charge of second-degree assault. The victim was seriously wounded and taken to a Portland hospital for treatment.

Axmaker pleaded guilty in Clackamas County Circuit Court to attempted second-degree assault. She was sentenced to four years in prison.