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Ky. woman charged in knife attack

An Eastern Kentucky woman has been arrested after police say she attacked a pregnant woman in a Wal-Mart and stabbed her in the legs a day after being released from jail in an unrelated case.

Cynthia Mullins, 34, of Elkhorn City was charged with assault and was being held without bond in the Pikeville Regional Detention Center, Pikeville Police Detective Phillip Reed said.

Mullins took a knife from a shelf at the store and attacked 24-year-old Lora Hall Damron, who is seven months pregnant, just after 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Reed said. The reason for the attack remained unclear Friday, even after officers interviewed Mullins, Reed said.

"She really didn't say," Reed said. "She was aware of what she'd done, but she didn't know why."

University of Kentucky Hospital spokeswoman Amy Ratliff said Damron was in fair condition Friday morning. Reed said the unborn baby would be fine.

Reed said Mullins had been previously charged with terroristic threatening and released from jail Wednesday. Reed said Mullins was serving four years of probation for a 2005 stabbing.

The attack happened as Damron pushed a cart through the store and came across Mullins, Reed said. Mullins grabbed a five-inch kitchen knife off a shelf, opened it, then pounced on Damron, stabbing her several times, Reed said.

A witness, Pikeville pharmacist Randy Stiles, was shopping at the store and tackled Mullins, but not before Damron was stabbed several times in the legs, Reed said.

Stiles told the Appalachian News-Express that he saw the two women fighting and realized what was happening.

"I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do something," Stiles told the newspaper.

Stiles said he yelled at the women and approached them when he saw the attacker loosen her grip on the knife.

"She dropped the knife when I grabbed ahold of her, and I shoved her on the ground and got on top of her," he said.

Reed said Mullins may have hurt Damron worse if Stiles hadn't intervened.

"That probably saved her life," Reed said.

Mullins was released from jail late Wednesday after her bond on the terroristic threatening charge was reduced from $5,000 to recognizance. Reed said Mullins spent much of her time after being released from jail at the store. Mullins couldn't go home because of a dispute with a family member, Reed said.

"She didn't have anywhere to go, so she was staying there," Reed said.

In the 2005 stabbing, Mullins attacked a woman with a kitchen knife after asking for an ambulance, Reed said.