October 5, 2016

A 38-year-old Jefferson woman was lying when she reported last month that a man with green, “cruel” eyes stabbed her in her backyard, police officers allege.

Stacie Maureen Clark called 911 about 9:28 p.m. on Sept. 19 to report the incident, according to court records. Her story varied slightly over the next week in interviews with the officers, but the general theme was this:

Clark went outside to her fenced-in backyard about 9 p.m. to play catch with her dog with a ball. A man dressed in black grabbed her near the perimeter of her yard, whispered “Shh, don’t speak,” and stabbed her in her stomach.

Clark said she crawled more than 100 feet across wet grass, concrete and gravel to get to the kitchen inside her house in the 500 block of North Oak Street, which is about two blocks south of the railroad tracks in the center of town.

Blood soaked her T-shirt and sweat pants.

She was flown in a medical helicopter to a Des Moines hospital, where she was treated and released two days later.

From a hospital bed there, she told The Jefferson Herald via telephone: “Physically, I’m going to heal. Mentally, I think my battle’s just started.”

Investigators had several qualms about the woman’s story, including:

— There were no tracks or blood in the backyard. The only blood was in the kitchen.

— She was calm and collected when she called 911.

— She was very specific about the details of the attacker’s eyes but couldn’t say, for example, if he was wearing glasses because it was too dark outside.

“This showed me that nothing had occurred in the backyard as Stacie had claimed,” wrote Capt. Heath Enns, of the Jefferson Police Department, in a criminal complaint against the woman. “The evidence showed me that this was a self-inflicted wound and/or she was being deceptive about the entire incident.”

Clark suffers from bipolar disorder, court records show.

She was charged last week with making a false report to police, a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

Clark wrote in her request for a court-appointed attorney that she is employed by Greene County Middle School as a paraprofessional educator — a job colloquially known as a teacher’s aide.