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Charged with assault with a weapon, woman says she acted in self defense

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | August 4, 2022 12:00 AM

A Flathead Valley woman is in county jail after allegedly threatening a woman with a knife in Coram on July 30, though she told investigators she acted in self defense.

Rachel Rae Gulbranson, 38, faces a felony charge of assault with a weapon and one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief in Flathead County District Court. She is being held on a $31,005 bond.

Her arrest came after deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance call on Wishert Lane in Coram. The caller said the disturbance arose after she asked a drunk Gulbranson to leave her property, according to court documents.

Gulbranson allegedly became “enraged” and pulled a knife, slashing and stabbing at her, the woman told authorities. The blade came within inches of her as she retreated into a nearby house, according to court documents.

Gulbranson allegedly drove the knife into the hood of the woman’s vehicle while she phoned 911.

Interviewed by deputies, Gulbranson admitted to pulling the knife, but said she did so in self-defense, court documents said.

Her arraignment in district court is not yet scheduled. Assault with a weapon carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in state prison and a $50,000 fine. Criminal mischief is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1,500.

Gulbranson previously faced an assault with a weapon charge in 2015. Deputies arrested her after she allegedly approached a group of roommates hanging out outside of a South Cedar Drive home while wielding an ax and yelling obscenities.

She eventually pleaded guilty to an amended charge of criminal endangerment as well as an associated charge of bail jumping. In 2016, Judge Heidi Ulbricht gave her a deferred five year sentence for the former charge and a deferred two-year sentence for the latter. The sentences were to run concurrently.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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