Woman gets prison for stabbing

Published 9:24 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Buchanan woman who stabbing a man in the chest will spend a minimum of 38 months to a maximum of 10 years in a Michigan prison cell.
Rachel Haff, of Buchanan, was sentenced Monday by Judge Angela Pasula in Berrien County Trial Court.
Haff pleaded guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
On Aug. 5, 2016, Haff’s sister and another witness said they saw the stabbing.
Haff’s sister told police that tje woman had come to her residence at on Redbud Trail, where she then engaged in a heated argument with Chaz McGowen.
According to the Buchanan Police Department report, Haff said she heard that McGowen was abusing her sister. During the fight, the witnesses said they saw Haff grab a knife from the kitchen sink and stab him in the chest.
During an interview with police, Haff said that she had blacked out in the heat of the moment. When she came to, she heard McGown say, “Oh my God. She stabbed me.”
McGowen was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where he was lodged for a few days because the stabbing had punctured a lung.
On Monday, Judge Pasula told Haff she was very lucky that the incident did not take McGowen’s life.
“This could have had a very different outcome,” Pasula said.
During the police interview, Haff said she had acted in self-defense. She also claimed she saw McGowen with a box cutter.
It was determined that Haff had not intended to hurt the lives of the other two people in the room and therefore her recommendation for sentencing was reduced.
Speaking before the court, Haff said she was sorry. She sobbed openly at times and said she had only recently learned of her mental health diagnosis.
“I just want to take full responsibility for what happened,” Haff said. “That is not me. That is now how I used to be.”
Haff’s lawyer recommended that she be able to receive treatment for her series of mental health problems
Pasula said nothing could excuse the act Haff had committed.
“This was an extremely violent act,” Pasula said.
Reading from a victim’s impact statement she said McGowen said “his life flashed before his eyes” while he was bleeding.
She continued by saying it was probably “short of miraculous” he survived.
Haff has been to jail four times and has at least three prior assault convictions, Pasula said.
“Anger is a human emotion,” Pasula said. “How you deal with it is a choice.”
Haff received credit for 206 days served in prison. A restitution hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.