Trial begins for woman accused in 2010 stabbing

Stories from the accused, victim have varied since incident

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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A Washougal woman went to trial Monday on charges of attempted murder and first-degree assault in the stabbing of her boyfriend last fall. She claims he inflicted the injuries upon himself.

Tanya N. Quinata, 38, is on trial for the Oct. 14, 2010, stabbing of her boyfriend, Samuel Kama.

A jury of 12 plus two alternates was seated in Clark County Superior Court Judge John Wulle’s courtroom in the afternoon, followed by a brief opening statement by the prosecution. Defense attorney Charles Buckley said he wanted to reserve his opening statement until after the prosecution concludes its case.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Camara Banfield told the jury that Quinata called 911 the evening of the stabbing and told a dispatcher that Kama had tried to commit suicide with a knife. After paramedics arrived at the house in the 2100 block of 32nd Street, they found Kama lying on the floor with a knife wound.

In the follow-up investigation, Banfield said, doctors concluded that the injury could not have been self-inflicted. The 41-year-old victim later told paramedics that he didn’t stab himself.

Since the night in question, there have been varying stories from the suspect and victim about what happened; one of the stories is that it was an accidental stabbing, Banfield said.

“You will hear from the victim,” the deputy prosecutor said. “He will say he loves the defendant and doesn’t want anything to happen to her.”

Banfield conceded she wasn’t sure how Kama will explain his injuries to the jury. A motive for the alleged crime wasn’t given.

After Banfield finished her opening statement, Nick Ober, a Camas paramedic, testified that he met Quinata in the driveway of the home the night of the stabbing. He asked her about the type of knife and specifics of what happened. She was distraught and didn’t answer.

As Ober accompanied Kama to the hospital, he said he asked the victim, who was conscious, what happened.

“The patient relayed that he did not stab himself, but he was unable to identify who did,” Ober said.

The trial is expected to last through Thursday.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts;www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker;laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.