UPDATED: Stabbing victim has long road to recovery following savage attack
Authorities say a Williamsburg man, who is facing an attempted murder charge, stabbed his girlfriend 16 times Friday evening before leading police on a more than four-hour long manhunt.
"The last stab wound was in the throat, according to her. He made the statement to her that 'if I can't have you, no one else will,'" said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.
Whitley District Judge Cathy Prewitt entered a not guilty plea Monday morning for Anthony Edward Spicer, who is also known as Anthony Potter, 30. Spicer was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder (domestic violence) and resisting arrest, according to his arrest citation.
Prewitt scheduled a March 4 preliminary hearing in the case and set a $500,000 cash bond.
Potter legally changed his last name to Spicer about two years ago, Bird noted.
Bird said that the victim, Ashley Warren, and the perpetrator had been split up and had an on-again, off-again relationship over the last four to five weeks.
Bird said that Warren was moved from the intensive care unit Monday to the progressive care unit and had been upgraded to fair condition.
"She was able to talk to us and give us a statement, but she has a long road to recovery," Bird said Tuesday. "Speaking to the medical staff there yesterday, she was very, very lucky to be alive."
Warren suffered a wound to one of her lungs, one of her kidneys, her spleen, her bowels, multiple wounds to her hands and face and a wound to her neck.
"Her hands are in really bad shape. All the tendons in all the fingers are cut and severed. According to her, the last stab wound was in the throat. She lost a lot of blood between the scene and the hospital," Bird said.
Fire at victim's residence
Friday evening, Emlyn Volunteer Fire Department was notified about a structure fire at Warren's residence.
Bird said authorities initially suspected that the blaze might have intentionally been set but have since determined it was not and was unconnected to the assault.
While firefighters were battling the blaze, Spicer showed up at the scene and a short time later Warren showed up.
"According to the fire chief there was a verbal domestic and physical domestic at the scene," Bird said. "For whatever reason, the victim decided to give Spicer a ride home."
The victim told police that she didn't want Spicer riding with her and she tried unsuccessfully to get someone else to go with her, Bird said.
Warren was trying to drive Spicer to a residence on Sky View Drive, when he pulled out a knife and instructed the victim that she was going to talk to him, Bird said.
Warren told police that when she pulled into the driveway, Spicer grabbed her keys and she fled out the driver's door and Spicer exited the other side of the vehicle, Bird said.
"He came around the car, chased her and tackled her," Bird said. "He began to stab her. In her words, 'he was circling her.' She told us she felt like he knew where to stab her at because everywhere he stabbed her at was in a vital organ."
When Warren was on the ground, Spicer put his knee on her chest to keep her on the ground, Bird said.
During the assault, a next-door neighbor heard the altercation and tried to assist the victim.
"She was a pretty brave lady. She came out and actually grabbed a hold of the perpetrator trying to get him off the victim," Bird said.
Spicer then fled the scene on foot.
The attack happened about 11 p.m.
Whitley County EMS arrived at the scene and treated Warren until an Air Evac. Lifeteam emergency medical helicopter could take her to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Police then spent the next four hours trying to track Spicer through the woods in the area of George Hays Road, the Cumberland River and South Second Street.
"He had injuries to his hands. He was bleeding from the attack," Bird noted.
Police established a perimeter called in Williamsburg Police Officer Brandon Prewitt and his K-9 partner, Rico, who tracked Spicer through the woods.
One of the reasons it took so long to track Spicer is because it was a very populated area with a lot of abandoned houses, which police had to search to ensure that he wasn't inside.
Police also had to check a few occupied residents to make sure Spicer wasn't hiding there, Bird said.
"He went down on the river and washed his hands and tried to clean himself up," Bird said. "Then he back tracked to a nearby residence on Sky View Drive."
During the search, police worked with Spicer's cell phone company to get a location on him and had a perimeter set up.
"He had his cell phone on him when he was on the run. I talked to him once on the cell phone trying to get him to turn himself in," Bird said. "He told me on the phone that he wasn't going to spend the rest of his life in prison. He wasn't turning himself in or anything else."
Police apprehended Spicer about 3:26 a.m. Saturday at Vincent Lawson's residence, where Spicer had been staying for three or four weeks. It was the same residence where Warren was trying to drop him off at, Bird said.
During the search, Spicer allegedly called Lawson and had him unlock the basement door, but Lawson denied having any knowledge about Spicer being there, Bird said.
Police finally found Spicer hiding in the basement of the residence under a bed.
"When we opened the basement door, we ordered him to come out and he didn't come out so they released the police K-9 on him, and the K-9 apprehended him," Bird said.
Police then took Spicer to Baptist Regional Medical Center where he was treated for injuries to his hands and for the dog bite wound to his upper thigh, Bird said.
Lawson hasn't been charged in connection with the investigation, but Bird said authorities plan to discuss the matter further with Commonwealth's Attorney Allen Trimble.
Bird said that Spicer hasn't made any statements to police since his arrest, but did speak to WKYT and he apologized during a jailhouse interview.
"I think in the interview, he said he found out she had been going out on him. I think he said that love makes you do crazy things," Bird said. "He was somewhat sympathetic and apologized but that doesn't justify stabbing somebody 16 times."
Nearly four years ago, Warren took out an Emergency Protective Order against Spicer on Feb. 6, 2009, which was dismissed at her request on Feb. 10, 2009.
In the petition, Warren alleged that on Jan. 31, 2009, that Spicer refused to leave her home and took her keys, money, home phone and cell phone.
In the petition, she also alleged that he had broken her things, threatened to hurt her and took her car without her permission, according to the domestic violence petition.
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