A Mountain Home woman who was alleged to have pulled a kitchen knife on a man, cutting him lightly on the left side of his neck, pled no contest to the charges against her during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday.
She was put on probation for five years.
Twenty-year-old Rebecca Payne, who has been diagnosed as being "developmentally delayed," requested the judge and attorneys make their statements "in words I can understand."
After Circuit Judge Gordon Webb outlined the plea agreement to her, he asked Payne if she understood the terms of the agreement. She told the judge she "understood the best I can."
At one point, Payne disputed information provided by investigators that she is the one who wielded the knife. She contended it was the victim who actually had the weapon. When it appeared the plea agreement was about to become unglued, Payne decided to change her plea from guilty to no contest and the plea taking continued. When asked if she was certain she wanted to proceed, Payne said, "Yes, I want my probation."
The incident leading to the charges against Payne occurred Oct. 17th last year. Baxter County deputies responded to a residence along Cochran Drive where a physical altercation was said to be in progress.
Upon arrival, the deputies observed Payne running from the residence trying to stay in the shadows of the side yard. When a light was shined on her, she continued walking away. When she finally stopped, Payne refused to put down items in her hand, yelling to the deputies she no longer had the knife, and the victim now had the weapon.
When the deputies attempted a pat down to see if Payne had weapons, she began to fight with them. She was subdued and taken into custody.
The victim and his wife said Payne had been staying with them for a couple of days. During the evening of Oct. 17th last year, they reported Payne became engaged in an argument with the victim's wife over a cellphone.
The husband told deputies he intervened when the argument turned physical. Payne was alleged to have punched the woman and struck her in the arm twice. It was at that point Payne is reported to have attacked the husband with a kitchen knife.
The knife was eventually located in the bathroom of the residence.
Payne has had trouble in the past for being involved in physical altercations. She is alleged to have pulled a knife on a member of management at Walmart after she had been asked to leave the store. She was also alleged to have slipped out of handcuffs, using the restraints as weapons, swinging them at a deputy who had taken her to Baxter Regional Medical Center for treatment. She was given one year in prison on charges stemming from that incident.
In a petition seeking to set up a guardianship for Payne, she was described as having severe emotional problems and exhibiting "poor impulse control."
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