Two Warrenton men are on trial this week for charges that include attempted aggravated murder and kidnapping.

A third suspect in the case, Nicholas Lee Thomas, in a deal with state prosecutors, pled guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree attempted assault Monday morning. In return, he has agreed to testify against the other two men, his co-defendants James Herbert Tilton and Paul Anthony Archuleta.

Thomas is expected to take the witness stand today at the Clatsop County Circuit Court courthouse.

The three men are suspects in what prosectors are calling a botched murder attempt that happened in July 2010.

On July 6, in the evening, a woman was watering plants in her backyard in Birkenfeld in Clatsop County.

Her dog started barking, she turned around to see a naked woman, bleeding from multiple stab wounds.

The woman, 22-year-old Warrenton resident Paige Hart, said three men – Thomas, Archuleta and her then-boyfriend Tilton – had taken her into the woods, made her strip off her clothes then tried to kill her.

She had cuts and puncture wounds on her arms, legs, chest and throat.

She said Tilton held her while the others took turns stabbing her with what she called a “box knife.” Then Tilton had taken the knife and tried to slit her throat, she said.

In court Tuesday afternoon, Hart told the 12-person jury she pretended to be dead and the men rolled her down a hill. She escaped into the woods.

After showing up in Birkenfeld, Hart was later lifeflighted to Portland for medical attention.

Meanwhile, Tilton, Thomas and Archuleta’s names had been sent out to law enforcement along with a description of their car.

Police located the men that evening and arrested them. Bail was initially set at $1 million each.

Tilton had only recently been let out of jail on a release and was facing charges of delivery of methamphetamine and attempt to elude police. He pled guilty to both charges later in July while still in custody waiting for the attempted murder case to go to trial.

All three men have remained in custody since July.

Hart was arrested in September on charges of possession of heroin.

The state asked for a material witness hold, effectively keeping her in custody for her own safety until trial, arguing that her testimony as a victim was critical in the attempted murder case.

Hart remained in jail until March when she was released for a several weeks to stay with relatives, but she ended up back in jail when that situation did not work out.

The trial began Tuesday morning and is expected to last until Friday. Attempted aggravated murder and kidnapping are both Measure 11 crimes. Tilton and Archuleta could each face just over 17 years of prison time if convicted, according to Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis.

  1. Paige says:

    she wasn’t rolled down a hill, she was thrown off a fuckin cliff. Get the story straight if your going to talk about it!

  2. Paige says:

    oh and he didn’t TRY to cut her throat, he DID cut it.