A Castle Rock man who allegedly slashed an acquaintance’s throat while driving together near La Center had apparently told his son he planned to attack the man and steal his pickup.
The victim, 49-year-old Lauren Higgins of Longview, required emergency surgery for his injuries, but he is expected to survive. Higgins suffered numerous lacerations to his upper body and throat. One laceration was deep enough that first responders could see his trachea, according to court records.
Mark Andrew Laurila, 50, was scheduled to appear Friday in Clark County Superior Court, but court records indicate he was “too hostile to bring to court.” The hearing was set over to Monday.
Laurila faces allegations of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery and theft of a motor vehicle. Judge Daniel Stahnke set his bail at $200,000.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded shortly before 5 a.m. to Northwest 41st Avenue and Pekin Ferry Road after a resident called 911 to report that a man showed up at their home, bleeding profusely from stab wounds, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Upon arrival, deputies found the bleeding man, identified as Higgins, in the front yard. Deputies provided aid until medical personnel arrived, the affidavit says.
Higgins was able to speak and told deputies he was attacked by an acquaintance named Mark, who was later identified by authorities as Laurila, court records state. Higgins said Laurila had contacted him and asked for help finding his girlfriend and car.
The two met up and planned to look for Laurila’s car and then go to ilani casino. Higgins drove them in his Chevrolet Silverado on a “back road” and stopped to urinate. Laurila began yelling at Higgins about needing to find his car and girlfriend, and then attacked him, according to the affidavit.
Higgins said Laurila pulled out a knife and stabbed him repeatedly. Laurila then jumped into Higgins’ pickup and sped off, court records state.
Before being taken to a hospital, Higgins gave deputies Laurila’s phone number and said he stays at a transient camp in Longview, court documents say.
Deputies worked with 911 dispatchers in Clark and Cowlitz counties to look up Higgins’ vehicle information, identify Laurila and flag him as a suspect in an attempted homicide, the affidavit says. Cowlitz County law enforcement located Laurila in Higgins’ pickup around 7:30 a.m. in Kelso, according to the sheriff’s office.
Laurila was taken into custody and transported to the sheriff’s office’s west precinct to be interviewed. He gave investigators permission to look through his phone, where they found text messages from Laurila to his son, court records state.
“The messages said something to the effect of: ‘I’m with Lauren. If he takes one more side road, I am going to cut his throat, steal his money and drive away in his truck,” the affidavit reads.