Woman clubs man in Inverness pot house

David Briggs
A bandaged victim spoke with law enforcement officials after he was assaulted with a baseball bat while sleeping on Monday.
03/14/2013

A photographer was arrested on Tuesday for trying to kill a man with a baseball bat in an Inverness Park home that was being used to grow marijuana plants, according to Marin County Sheriff’s Office officials.

Kelsey Winterkorn, 26, beat a fellow tenant on the head with a baseball bat while he slept at their shared rental home Monday morning, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Doug Pittman said, and when he fled with another housemate to seek medical attention, Ms. Winterkorn followed in her

van and repeatedly crashed into his vehicle on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard before leaving the area. The victim was safely transported to Marin General Hospital, where he was treated and released. When officials responded to the home, they located 855 marijuana plants growing inside of the two buildings on the property.

Law enforcement officials said Ms. Winterkorn, a local resident who drives a distinctively decorated orange van labeled “Biohazard Battlecruiser,” remained on the loose until a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy located her on Tuesday night parked on a highway in Guerneville. She was arrested without incident, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jamie Scardina said.

Ms. Winterkorn, 26, is being held on $500,000 bail for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. The Marin Major Crimes Task Force, which investigates drug trafficking, is still looking into the marijuana cultivation and has not yet filed drug-related charges. The number of plants found Monday represents nearly 60 percent of the total amount of marijuana plants they seized in 2011.

“She just pays her rent on time, as usual,” said Terri Beausejour, the owner of the 1,750-square-foot house and 750-square-foot cottage, which are listed online as a $245-per-night vacation rental with five bedrooms and two bathrooms. The house also includes a backyard chicken coop. “These people seem like nice, very professional photographers.”

Ms. Beausejour, who learned of the incident during a phone conversation with a reporter for the Light, added: “I know they’re artists, but that doesn’t mean that this stuff necessarily goes on.”

Ms. Winterkorn’s web presence evinces an interest in environmental sustainability, apocalyptic survivalism and the colors orange and black. Her website says the biohazard symbols on Ms. Winterkorn’s van are “cautionary.” Ms. Winterkorn also describes herself as part of a group seen as hippies, but who are more accurately described as “steampunk” or “cyberpunk.”

“We are rough and tough survivors who go where we please (and so far no police have pulled us over for anything, ha!), scavenge, and use technology to find innovative solutions,” according to a manifesto on the website. “Many tremendous forces at play in contemporary culture are extremely destructive in nature, and we need to be warned.”

Ms. Winterkorn’s van is a fixture in West Marin, painted from hood to fender in vivid images of teeth, eyeballs, supernatural creatures, such as a fire-breathing dragon, and other insignia.

Attempts to contact Ms. Winterkorn’s attorney were unsuccessful.

A man who answered the door at the wooded Redwood Avenue property, located on a sleepy Inverness Park hairpin road, declined to comment on Wednesday, but a photographer for the Light saw a man with extensive head-bandaging standing outside talking with officials on Monday. Several bags of plants removed from the house filled the back of investigators’ Ford Ranger pickup.