A Madras man is facing an attempted murder charge for allegedly stabbing his on-again-off-again partner on Christmas Eve and terrorizing her and an elderly couple with a hammer after she sought refuge in their home.
Robert Lee Stafford Jr., 49, was taken into custody Dec. 24 by Madras officers after being stunned four times with a Taser and pistol-whipped in the face. Stafford was allegedly naked and high on crack cocaine when he attacked Rebecca “Becky” Davies, according to Madras Police. He now faces three Measure 11 charges in Jefferson County Circuit Court, each punishable under Oregon law by a steep automatic prison term.
At around 3:44 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Madras officer Joshua Roth was dispatched to the home of Jesse and Maria Rodriguez on SW J Street following a report of a stabbing in progress. The caller told dispatchers that a man had taken a hammer from their property and was trying to break into their house.
Roth arrived to find a naked man “crashing through a sliding glass door” and entering the house, he wrote in a search warrant request.
As Roth yelled at Stafford to stop, Stafford allegedly left the Rodriguezes’ home holding Davies with both arms.
“As the pair exited the residence they were spinning in circles,” Roth wrote. “I could hear the female screaming. I drew my department issued Taser and deployed the probes into Mr. Stafford Jr.’s back as he spun around.”
Stafford didn’t fall. Instead, he remained standing while continuing to hold Davies and wielding a large kitchen knife, according to police.
Roth delivered a “focused blow” with the barrel of his sidearm to Stafford’s face, causing Stafford to fall onto his back. Roth grabbed Davies and backed away, yelling at Stafford to lie on his stomach, Roth wrote in the warrant request.
Roth hit Stafford three more times with his Taser and called for backup.
A backup officer arrived and helped Roth take Stafford into custody.
Davies was examined by paramedics and found to have stab wounds on her back, abdomen and hip as well as cuts on her hands.
Inside the Rodriguezes’ home, detectives found shattered glass and a large amount of blood.
Stafford’s mother lives about 50 yards from the Rodriguez house. The couple said they saw Davies running between cars on his mother’s property, followed by a knife-wielding Stafford.
Davies caught a glimpse of Jesse Rodriguez standing outside his home and ran toward him. Davies and Rodriguez ran inside and locked the sliding glass door behind them.
Stafford then grabbed a hammer and used it to break through the glass door while threatening to kill Davies, according to court documents.
Davies later told detectives she and Stafford were in the kitchen of Stafford’s mother’s house when he “freaked out” and stabbed her several times.
She said she and Stafford had been in an intimate relationship for 13 years and they both use narcotic drugs regularly. She said Stafford was under the influence of crack cocaine during the incident.
Stafford and Davies were taken to St. Charles Madras and treated for their injuries.
Madras officers applied for and received a warrant to obtain DNA from Stafford to locate additional evidence in the case.
Thursday, a grand jury in Jefferson County heard testimony from investigators, as well as Davies and Maria Rodriguez.
Stafford is housed in the Jefferson County jail on suspicion of attempted murder, second-degree assault and first-degree burglary. He’s scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court Wednesday.
According to Bulletin archives, Jesse Rodriguez is known for portraying Santa Claus in Madras during the holidays. He and his wife for years operated a popular Christmas display on their J Street property and gave presents to the children of local migrant farmworkers.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org