Update: Axmaker pleaded guilty in separate stabbing case

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - A pursuit early Friday morning ended when the suspect lost control of the vehicle and crashed near the intersection of Highway 213 and Molalla Road near Molalla.A 25-year-old Milwaukie woman stole a police squad car, but Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputies said her pursuit ended when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed near the intersection of Highway 213 and Molalla Road.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Tara Axmaker, age 25, of Milwaukie.Sgt. Adam Phillips said the ordeal started at about 1 a.m. on Friday when deputies were dispatched to a reported stabbing along the 16800 block of South Howards Mills Road. As deputies arrived on scene, they noticed one of their patrol cars leaving the location at a high rate of speed with no lights on, Phillips said.

“The motive for this attempted murder is still being investigated,” Phillips said. “The use of methamphetamines by the suspect plays a significant role.”

Tara Axmaker was identified as the woman behind the wheel of the stolen squad car and could be heard yelling over the police radio. Phillips called Axmaker’s driving as reckless and very dangerous.

Axmaker was reportedly not hurt in the crash. She was immediately arrested, Phillips said. In addition to the murder charge, she faces charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempted assault on a police officer, aggravated theft, reckless driving, parole violations and a felony charge of attempting to elude. Axmaker is scheduled for a first appearance on Monday, March 18, at 3 p.m. in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

The 33-year-old stabbing victim Axmaker left at the scene was identified as Matthew Savage of Beavercreek. He was transported to a local hospital by LifeFlight helicopter and was listed in fair condition. Phillips could not release the circumstances involved with the stabbing because detectives are continuing the investigation.

Axmaker was involved in another stabbing incident three years ago in Molalla, police said.

On Thursday, April 8, 2010, at 6:41 a.m., CCSO 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 Axmaker, who was then a 22-year-old from Molalla, police said.

That incident also involved a police chase of a suspect vehicle, this time across pastures and fields. The car was thought to be driven by Axmaker, but the driver turned out to be a male suspect involved in the case.

Axmaker was arrested an hour later in the vicinity of the Molalla crime scene. Police said she was high on meth. She was lodged at 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.

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