Prosecutors: $100 drug debt spurred stabbing incident

Victim survives after being stabbed multiple times

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver man is accused of trying to stab a former friend to death in March over a $100 drug-related debt.

“Just give me my (expletive), or I’ll (expletive) kill you,” Thomas R. Povec allegedly shouted during the attack.

Povec, 24, appeared Thursday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree attempted robbery.

Judge Barbara Johnson held him in the Clark County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Michael Foister Sr. to defend him. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges today.

The March 15 incident in Vancouver began as a fistfight and escalated when Povec pulled out a folding knife and repeatedly stabbed the 19-year-old victim, according to a court affidavit by Clark County sheriff’s Detective Erik Zimmerman. The detective is a member of the multi-agency Safe Streets Task Force, which investigated the case. The victim had multiple injuries, including wounds to his lung and his neck near the artery that carries blood to the brain. He was treated at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and survived his injuries.

About five weeks before the attack, Povec and the victim had apparently pooled money to purchase some heroin from a drug dealer, according to court records. The dealer took their money without providing any heroin, and Povec became upset when the victim returned empty-handed, Zimmerman wrote in the affidavit.

On March 15, the victim was lured to a location near East 18th Street and Wilson Avenue in the Harney Heights neighborhood, where he was attacked, according to court records. Povec allegedly punched the victim about 30 times. The victim attempted to defend himself with pepper spray, Zimmerman wrote.

Then Povec allegedly displayed a knife and yelled, “I have a knife.”

Povec stabbed the victim multiple times, twisting the knife into his rib cage, according to court records.

He pleaded with Povec to release him, saying that Povec was killing him, court records say.

Povec allegedly said he would kill the victim if the victim didn’t give him money or drugs.

The victim pulled out half a gram of heroin from his pocket and tossed it on the ground, Zimmerman wrote. Povec allegedly took the heroin. It’s unclear from court records whether that’s what stopped the attack.