Stabbing suspect pleads guilty

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Harp

SANDPOINT — A Washington state man implicated in a knife attack in Laclede pleaded guilty to an amended criminal charge in 1st District Court on Monday.

Shawn Montgomery Harp was originally charged with attempted murder, operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Harp, 34, is accused of an unprovoked attack at a home off Campbell Homestead Road on June 19. Harp allegedly plunged the knife into the back and chest of another man.

Harp allegedly fled from the home in a homeowner’s utility terrain vehicle, sparking an overnight dragnet that resulted in his capture. The alleged victim survived his wounds, although a doctor told investigations he came perilously close to dying.

Those present at the gathering, including Harp’s wife, were at a loss to explain Harp’s attack. There was no quarrel that led up to the knifing, although Harp was behaving strangely, according to court documents.

Harp’s fitness to proceed was thrown into question after telling defense counsels that he had been experiencing hallucinations leading up to the incident, court records show. Criminal proceedings were placed on hold while his competency was evaluated.

In addition to the underlying criminal charges, Bonner County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank sought charging enhancements because Harp used a deadly weapon during the commission of a crime and is already a two-time convicted felon. The charging enhancements could have added anywhere from five years to life in prison if convicted.

However, in a pretrial settlement agreement with the state, Harp pleaded guilty to aggravated battery. In exchange for the plea, the remaining counts and charging enhancements were dismissed, according to court records.

Harp faces up to 15 years in prison, although the state is recommending a three- to seven-year term, the plea agreement indicates.

Harp remains held at the Bonner County Jail with his bail set at $250,575. A sentencing hearing date is pending.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and find him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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