Richland woman pleads innocent to stabbing boyfriend

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldDecember 1, 2012 

A 26-year-old woman pleaded innocent Friday to charges she stabbed her boyfriend in the chest after coming home intoxicated.

Jessica A. Peterson of Richland faces trial Jan. 14 in Benton County Superior Court on one count of second-degree assault.

The charge includes allegations of domestic violence since she was dating the victim, and that a deadly weapon was used. If convicted of using a knife in the crime, she could get extra time on her sentence.

Defense attorney Michelle Alexander was appointed by the court to represent Peterson.

According to Richland police and court documents, Traverse Allen drove himself to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland on Nov. 20 to be treated for a stab wound.

Officers were called to the hospital and learned that Peterson allegedly grabbed a knife from the butcher block at 7:40 p.m. and stabbed Allen in the chest. Allen, 38, claimed his girlfriend was intoxicated when she came home to the apartment.

Police confirmed Allen had a stab wound on the right side of his chest, which was oozing blood, documents said.

They recovered the shirt Allen wore to the hospital. It reportedly had a slit in the chest area and a corresponding large blood stain.

Richland officers got a search warrant for the apartment to collect evidence of the assault.

Peterson left the home after the stabbing and could not be found by police, court documents said. She was arrested on a warrant earlier this week in Yakima County, and taken to Benton County.

On Friday, Judge Cameron Mitchell ordered Peterson held on $25,000 bail. He also told her not to contact Allen while the case is pending.

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