BREAKING: Anti-Abortion Protester Stabs Man Seven Times, Walks Free

GRANTS PASS, OR — A man walks free after stabbing someone seven times outside of a Planned Parenthood. The man with the knife, identified as Chris Tolhurst, is a common sight in Grants Pass, where he has been picketing with signs outside of the Planned Parenthood facility for months. Yet again, a pro-lifer almost ends someone’s life.

Tolhurst’s signs read, “Abortion is Murder,” and “Abortion Kills Children.” It was unnecessary for me to find this information through means other than experience, as I live in Grants Pass and have seen Tolhurst on multiple occasions during the last couple months. While I am pro-choice myself, I fully respect the right to free speech. Plus, I viewed him as harmless enough; the Planned Parenthood here does not perform abortions anyway, so it seemed sort of silly to get mad about a protester protesting an irrelevancy. I should also note that he stares down cars that turn into the driveway for Planned Parenthood (which is shared by medical facilities; not everyone going down that driveway is even headed to Planned Parenthood) and sometimes uses rude hand gestures.

Harmless enough — until he stabbed somebody and walked away on what Lieutenant Ward of the Grants Pass Public Safety Department said was self-defense. Here’s what happened: Kailah L. Clair, age 22, was passing him when he entered the road holding a sign (I can personally report that the same thing has happened to me. He doesn’t actually impede traffic, but he tries to get as close as possible while holding a sign). She stopped and kicked one of his signs over. In response, he shoved her. At this point, they’re both in the wrong. She should not have touched his sign, and he should not have put hands on her.

Kailah should have called the police at this point (although, to be fair, the police here are widely regarded as inept at best and very corrupt). Instead, she returned with her father, Ted A. Clair, age 48. When police arrived on the scene, Clair was holding down the 54-year-old Tolhurst, who was holding a knife. Clair had been stabbed seven times in the neck and chest.

Clair really shouldn’t have hit him at all. However, Tolhurst was released because, “There definitely are some self-defense issues to look at,” Grants Pass police, Lt. Dennis Ward said. That’s interesting, because here in Oregon our self-defense laws have equal force provisions — that means that you can’t use deadly force unless deadly force is used or threatened. Here are the statutes in question.

In other words, he stopped defending himself when he decided to stab his aggressor. You can’t just pull a knife because you’re losing a fistfight.

Josephine County (Grants Pass is the county seat) District Attorney, Lisa Turner, said that it could potentially be weeks until the police finish their investigation. This seems, in part, an effort to make sure that the media is bored by the time the issue comes up.

I don’t like the idea of someone who admitted they stabbed another human being seven times over a scuffle (Tolhurst reportedly has bruises on the side of his face and no other injuries) is free on the streets until the DA finishes thinking about whether or not he will be charged for what is obviously a crime.

You can reach the DA’s office by phone (541.474.5200), email ([email protected]), or mail (500 NW 6th St., Dept. 16 Grants Pass, OR 97526) to voice a complaint.

You can reach the Grants Pass Public Safety Department by phone at their non-emergency number (541.450.6260) or by mail (101 NW “A” Street Grants Pass, OR 97526).

Please do not call and harass; only voice legitimate questions or concerns.