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Sun, Jan. 19

Woman accused of attempted murder, 'Pixie Dust' user, and cattle trough thief in court

PRESCOTT - A man who cut up cattle watering tanks for scrap metal with his father, a woman who was arrested for using "Pixie Dust" and a Prescott Valley woman accused of trying to stab a person and then going on a drunken rampage in her car are on the docket to appear in Yavapai County Superior Court today.

Josie Bennett, 30, of Prescott Valley is accused trying to stab her boyfriend's new girlfriend and trying to run over several people in October. She may change her plea to guilty and accept a deal.

Sgt. Brandon Bonney, spokesman for the Prescott Valley police department, said Bennett, upset with the new girlfriend, allegedly made threats to kill her with a knife. Authorities allege that Bennett had been drinking, drove to the home, confronted the woman with a knife, tried to stab her, missed, and caused a superficial injury.

Bystanders took the knife away from Bennett, who then got into her vehicle and allegedly tried to run several of them down.

Bonney said she drove into a house, struck three parked vehicles, a fence and a brick wall before her vehicle was finally disabled.

She was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder as well as five counts of aggravated assault. If she does change her plea to guilty, she would likely face somewhat lesser charges.

Colton Gifford, 20, was arrested back in January when Sheriff's deputies said they caught him cutting up a watering tank on a Castle Hot Springs ranch. His father, Bart Gifford, got away from both the cops and the rancher, who pursued him on horseback that day, but turned himself in a few days later.

Bart, who accepted a plea deal, was sentenced in March to probation despite the wishes of the ranch owner, who argued for jail time, because Judge Ralph Hess said he wanted Bart to pay restitution to the ranch owner.

Colton is also taking a plea. He is also guilty of a probation violation in Coconino County because he participated in the theft.

Becky Sue Snyder, 31, of Prescott, was arrested when Prescott police who were looking for a burglary suspect went to a room at a Motel 6 to find him, and instead found Snyder, who admitted to using so-called "bath salts" to get high.

Bath salt abuse is still relatively uncommon; it is a drug labeled "not for human consumption," that combines a stimulant with a hallucinogen. "Pixie Dust" is one brand name.

The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center reported just two calls about bath salts last year, but about 30 this year. People have reported becoming agitated or paranoid, experienced high blood pressure, a racing heart, hallucinations, or aggressiveness or thoughts of suicide after using it.

Snyder told an officer that she would inject the bath salts and would get a resulting high like heroin that lasted about 20 minutes.

She is also taking a plea deal and will be sentenced.

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