KENNEWICK -- A 39-year-old Kennewick man pleaded innocent Thursday to allegations that he threatened his girlfriend with a knife during an argument.
Kenneth Floyd Carter II is charged in Benton County Superior Court with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and felony harassment with a deadly weapon. The assault charge also includes the allegation that the offense involved domestic violence.
His trial is set for April 30. He is being held in the Benton County jail on $75,000 bail.
Carter was contacted March 4 by Kennewick police after officers received a call about a domestic disturbance. His 35-year-old girlfriend told police she had been dating Carter since October and he had become increasingly violent, court documents said.
The victim said that day Carter got angry at her because he couldn't find a memory card for the camera and reportedly told her to look at him and pulled her head back by her hair, popping her neck.
Carter is accused of head-butting her then grabbing a knife front the kitchen and threatening her.
She said was on the couch and he put his knee to her chest, held the knife to her throat and said "you know I will cut your head off and go to prison and I don't give a s---," documents said.
The victim told police that the look in Carter's eyes made her believe he was going to kill her, documents said.
She also said he had kicked her a week earlier, leaving a swollen red mark on her right leg, hit her with a cable the day before, cutting her leg, and tried to stab her in the neck with a pen, documents said.
Officers said they saw injuries consistent with what the victim reported.
Carter told police that he had been arguing with his girlfriend, but he denied a physical altercation occurred, documents said.
Man who pleaded guilty to child molestation says he is different person
A 23-year-old former Richland man who was sentenced to slightly more than a year in prison for molesting a young girl six years ago told a judge he's an "immensely different" person now.
Vance Vannausdle previously pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to second-degree child molestation and pleaded for leniency from Judge Craig Matheson.
"What I did was wrong, but I'm not the dark person right now that I'm being made out to be," Vannausdle said Thursday. "Trust me. I'm a good person. I try to live by the highest principles for the greater causes of all beings -- human, animals, everything, God.
"I promise you, I'm no pervert."
Vannausdle was arrested in 2008 after he disclosed to a counselor that he touched a pre-teen girl under her clothes when he was 17.
As part of the state Department of Corrections' presentence investigation, he provided a written statement about the incident, saying he was awkward around girls while growing up, "probably because my mother was murdered when I was real young," court documents said.
He said he didn't know how to properly interact with the opposite sex and "I tried to quench that imbalance in an inappropriate way when I got sexually aroused that day, reaching out in a wrong and distorted fashion."
Vannausdle also told the community corrections officer completing the report that he didn't know the counselor would report it when he disclosed what happened.
Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra read a letter from the victim's mother and a statement the victim wrote that was included in the report.
The victim said Vannausdle was twisted and manipulative and no one should ever have to be put in a situation where they feel dirty and used.
"Every day, my memory is shocked by what he did to me. He has caused me a burden that will never go away," the victim wrote. "I have nightmares making it an everyday struggle to get a good night sleep. I still spend most nights on the couch where I know I have lots of exits. ... It was much more difficult for me to cope with as a child, but as an adult, now I see how repulsive Vance is."
The victim said she wanted to make sure Vannausdle learned a real life lesson and took responsibility for what he did. She said she didn't think he ever felt he was at fault or wrong.
"I will never have a normal life, and I want to stop him from ever hurting any woman or child ever again," she wrote. "Vance not only tore away my right to have an ordinary life, he made me look at life in a dark and scary way that no one should ever have to do."
Petra said she agreed to recommend a sentence of one year, three months in prison as part of plea negotiations. The maximum sentence Vannausdle faces was one year, eight months.
Vannausdle told Matheson that he knows his actions as a teenager were wrong. He said he was sorry "with all my being" and said his own fractured childhood was probably to blame.
"But the man before you is no threat and would defend any and all from similar offenses in a heartbeat," he said.
He said he has a fiancee of three years and he would "never do anything to dishonor her in a sexual manner or any other way."
Vannausdle said he is not trying to shift blame to anyone, but he questioned why the victim and her family had changed their stories. He said they previously had said they supported him and didn't want to see him face charges.
Matheson agreed to accept the agreed sentence recommendation, saying it didn't make much difference in this case because the range wasn't very big.
"I'm not trying to send a message that this is a minor offense by not going to the top of the range. This is a very serious crime and you committed it. It doesn't matter that you changed since then," he said.
Matheson also told him that it wasn't a good idea to stand up there pointing fingers at others.
"It means to me that you have missed a big point here. This is about the victimization of a young girl. It's not really about what anybody has done to you or anything else," he said. "This is the wrong time to talk about that. ... When you're mature enough to mean what you're saying, you'll understand what I'm saying."
Vannausdle will have to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.
* Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org