The Ottumwa Courier

April 17, 2013

Man charged in hatchet attack to plead self-defense, diminished capacity


Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA -- The man charged in a hatchet attack last summer has pleaded "diminished capacity" and self-defense.

Charles Julian Jason Zwer, 26, was charged with attempted murder and willful injury after police responded to a report of a disturbance at 219 N. Marion Street, Zwer's address, on July 22, 2012. Officers found three people who had been struck with a hatchet.

On Friday, Zwer entered a notice of defense of diminished capacity and self-defense. While a "reason of insanity" defense chan result in a verdict of not guilty, a diminished capacity defense can lead to a plea deal where the defendant colde convicted of a lesser offense, according to the Legal Information Institute.