The Ottumwa Courier

June 17, 2013

Hatchet attack suspect pleads guilty


Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man charged in last summer's hatchet attack is headed to prison.

Charles Julian Jason Zwer, 27, pleaded guilty this month to willful injury causing serious injury, a Class C felony, and assault while participating in a felony, a Class D felony. A charge of attempted murder, two willful injury charges and a charge of going armed with intent were all dismissed.

He received a 10-year prison sentence for the willful injury charge and a five-year prison sentence for the assault charge, both with credit for time served and to be served consecutively.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of contraband in a correctional facility, for which he received a 10-year prison sentence to be served consecutively with the first 10-year sentence.

Police responded to a report of a disturbance at 219 N. Marion St., Zwer's home address, on July 22. Officers found three individuals inside who had been attacked with a hatchet.

"There appeared to be an altercation between two people; one grabbed a hatchet out of a closet and started attacking that person with it," former Police Chief Jim Clark previously told the Courier. "Others tried to intervene and were struck with the hatchet, also."

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, Zwer's tentative discharge date is set for July 15, 2022.