COQUILLE — A woman was convicted of three felonies Wednesday after trying to cut a North Bend police officer with a small blade during a September struggle.
Officer Patrick Kinney testified he feared for his life when Danielle E. Welsh, 30, pulled the blade and swung it at him as he attempted to talk to her about trespassing on the 2000 block of Meade Street.
Kinney was able to wrestle the blade away from the North Bend woman as she tried to slice his face and wrists. Kinney's pregnant fiancee, who was on a ride- along at the time of the attempted assault, watched the struggle from the passenger's seat of the patrol car.
Welsh was convicted of seven charges total in relation to the incident, including attempted first-degree assault, attempted second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. She will be sentenced Nov. 5.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Pettey said the assault convictions will most likely be combined and Welsh could be facing around 24 months on that conviction.
Kinney said he first made contact with Welsh Sept. 2 in a yard on McPherson Street, where he warned her about trespassing. Welsh became aggressive towards Kinney and refused to speak him, he said.
A short time later, Kinney said he saw Welsh in a yard on Meade Street and got out to talk to her again about trespassing.
As Kinney approached Welsh, he said she 'squared up" to him and he grabbed her right arm with his left hand to try and speak with her. That's when Welsh flipped open the knife she had attached to her key chain and began trying to cut him near his face and neck, Kinney said.
Kinney was able to wrestle Welsh to the ground -- where she continued to try to cut his wrist -- and he pried the knife away.
Witness Clara Baker said Welsh was aggressive and yelling, 'I am going to cut your head off. I am going to kill you."
Kinney said he was able to handcuff Welsh, who told him that she had taken bad drugs and didn't know what she was doing anymore. Kinney testified that he found drug paraphernalia on Welsh when he searched her.
Welsh's attorney, James von Hippel, didn't call any witnesses and his client declined to testify when he asked her in court.
Pettey told the jury that Welsh's 'conduct was intentional" and there was a real chance Kinney could have died if the blade had cut his throat.
'Police work is dangerous and lot of danger comes from when you don't know you are facing a life-threatening situation," Pettey said.
Welsh, dressed in a stripped shirt with short cropped hair, pleaded with Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron to sentence her directly after the unanimous verdict was read.
Barron declined to sentence her so the defense and prosecution would have time to figure out if some of the convictions could be combined for less jail time.
'I wouldn't be so anxious to go to prison ma'am," he told Welsh before she left the courtroom in tears.
Reporter Tyler Richardson can be reached at 541-269-1222 ext. 236, or at email@example.com