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Man Allegedly Attempts To Rape Deputy's Diminutive Wife. Then She Grabs His Knife.

Last Thursday, in Lawrence County, Tennessee, two days after being bonded out of jail for his most recent arrest, a 31-year-old man allegedly attempted to rape the wife of a Lawrence County Sheriff's deputy in her own home, but he got more than he bargained for — she grabbed the knife he was holding to her throat and stabbed him in the head and the chest.
Stephen Purcell, now charged with multiple felonies including attempted first degree murder, attempted aggravated rape and aggravated kidnaping, had been arrested multiple times in the last year for robbery, kidnaping and rape.
Captain Adam Brewer with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office stated of the diminutive wife, who stands five-foot-three and weighs 100 pounds, "She said she heard noises, went to check, opened her garage, and there was a masked man with glasses standing in her garage and she screamed, and he attacked her. He was striking her in the face with his fist, ended up on top of her at one point and eventually pulled a knife, holding it to her throat, she was able to fight him, and get the knife away and stab him a couple of times, once in the side of the head.”
According to investigators, Purcell ripped off the wife’s shirt and tried to zip-tie her hands, but she escaped to a neighbor’s home. They also said that Purcell called 911 claiming he was a witness to the crime, then segued to claiming he was forced to commit the crime. Brewer said, "Yes, the story he was giving was that he was forced there by two other men with masks on to perpetuate the same crime he was committing ... but he was doing it for them.”
Sheriff Jimmy Brown said of the deputy whose wife was attacked, "He and his wife are family, to have to go through this, she is a remarkable young lady. She really is. She fought for her life. She is a small lady, but she has a lot of fight a lot of spunk.”
TheMaven reports that when the sheriff’s office was criticized for letting Purcell out of jail, they responded:
First and foremost, let us make it clear, OUR DEPARTMENT DOES NOT SET BONDS. Bonds are set by a presiding magistrate or judge based on the charges at hand and any other relevant circumstances at that time.
Secondly, OUR DEPARTMENT DOES NOT SENTENCE SUBJECTS. A sentence an individual is given again comes from a judge, sometimes in coordination with the district attorney's office in the instances of a plea deal etc.
If you disagree with a bond amount or the sentence on a given case, we strongly encourage you to address that with the judge, magistrate or district attorney responsible for it, not our department.
Our officers are just as frustrated as the general public when we see repeat offenders or offenders with serious charges back on the streets days after we arrest them, but there is little we can do besides keep arresting them.
Further, our officer's jobs are already tough enough without having to read this kind of misinformation constantly on social media. So please help us inform the public by sharing this post.

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