Walla Walla-area woman charged in weekend stabbing

Vanessa M. Drake is accused of second-degree assault after allegedly stabbing a man in the back.

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WALLA WALLA -- A local woman was formally charged Monday afternoon in Superior Court with stabbing a man outside her residence last weekend.

Vanessa M. Drake, 29, of 261 Newtown Road, is accused of second-degree assault -- domestic violence.

Officials said Drake stabbed Reuben J. Wentz once in the back about 2 a.m. Sunday after he had gone to her home and was loading some of his belongings into a vehicle.

Wentz was treated at Providence St. Mary Medical Center for an inch-long wound in his lower right back, according to a Sheriff's Office report filed in court.

Drake reportedly denied an assault had taken place, but a deputy at the scene allegedly located an empty knife sheath in her purse. She was arrested after an interview with law enforcement. Bail later was set at $100,000.

The assault is the latest in a series of disputes between Drake and Wentz, who have lived together in the past and have children in common, the Sheriff's Office report says.

Drake recently was sentenced to 30 days on the Department of Corrections work crew for stealing items from the Macy's store in Walla Walla and assaulting a security officer there last summer.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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