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Vancouver man suspected in stabbing appears in court

Man also accused of intimidating witness

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published: October 12, 2015, 1:05pm
2 Photos
Michael A. Conley, 49, makes a first appearance Monday in Clark County Superior Court in connection with a stabbing Thursday night. A man was dropped off at a hospital with life-threatening stab wounds. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian)
Michael A. Conley, 49, makes a first appearance Monday in Clark County Superior Court in connection with a stabbing Thursday night. A man was dropped off at a hospital with life-threatening stab wounds. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A Vancouver man allegedly involved in a stabbing and plot to intimidate a witness made a first appearance in Clark County Superior Court on Monday.

Michael A. Conley, 49, appeared to face allegations of conspiracy to commit first-degree attempted murder, witness tampering and intimidating a witness.

The allegations stem from a Thursday night incident in which a man, identified in court records as Patrick J. Lenhart, was dropped off at a hospital with life-threatening stab wounds. He was reportedly assaulted after being lured to a residence under the pretense of a drug transaction, according to a probable cause affidavit.

However, investigators think the stabbing is connected to threats made against a friend of Lenhart’s who is supposed to testify in an upcoming criminal trial. That alleged victim told police she had been receiving threatening messages and that Conley told her she needed to recant her story about what she had witnessed, the affidavit said.

A staff member at an area hospital called 911 shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday after finding an injured man had been dumped in the driveway of the emergency department. The man, identified as Lenhart, reportedly suffered stab wounds to his head, shoulder and leg. One stab wound damaged an artery in his leg, and he nearly bled to death, court records said.

Lenhart’s condition was unavailable Monday.

Witnesses at the hospital gave police a description of the vehicle involved in the drop-off, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Meanwhile, a 911 call came in about a possible assault, determined to be related to the stabbing, in the area of 102nd Avenue and Northeast 76th Street.

Deputy Phil Walker responded to the area and located a vehicle — a gray 2000 Dodge Stratus — that matched the description and detained two people who were in the car, court documents show. The driver, identified as Conley, and a passenger had bloodstains on their hands and clothing, the affidavit said.

Bloodstains were also visible on the interior and exterior of the car, Walker said in the affidavit. He said additional bloodstains were found on property at 8102 N.E. 103rd Court, court records stated.

Detectives said Conley told them conflicting stories about his whereabouts at the time of the assault. He reportedly said he found Lenhart outside after hearing a commotion and took him to the hospital, court documents show.

Deputy Prosecutor James Smith said detectives are still investigating the case, and there may be additional arrests. The blood-stained passenger, identified as Chad A. Monks, 41, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine. He has not been charged with participating in the stabbing.

Judge Robert Lewis set Conley’s bail at $500,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

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