A Fern Hill man accused of walking into a Westport woman’s house and chasing her with a chainsaw pleaded no contest Thursday to attempted murder.

Loren Shaun Knapp, 57, was charged with attempted murder, attempted first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and other charges related to the incident last May.

Knapp apparently drove to the Westport home in search of a man who he believed stole his rifle, Deputy District Attorney Beau Peterson said. He entered the home and began chasing the woman inside with the chainsaw. He said he was going to kill her and sawed through a bedroom door.

He left the house and began confronting the man outside before deciding to leave the scene, Peterson said during a court hearing. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Knapp near the home shortly after.

Knapp is scheduled to be sentenced next week. Attempted murder is a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 7½ years in prison.

As part of a plea deal, the rest of Knapp’s charges have been dismissed by the prosecution.

Knapp has been arrested in Clatsop County more than 25 times — including for charges of burglary, criminal mischief, menacing, assault, animal abuse and stalking.

Brenna Visser is a reporter for the Cannon Beach Gazette, Seaside Signal and The Daily Astorian. Contact her at 971-320-4558 or bvisser@dailyastorian.com.

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