Authorities: fatal sword attack threatened before crime - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Authorities: fatal sword attack threatened before crime

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 WATERTOWN (WKOW) -- Authorities charged 29 year old Young Choi Friday with first degree intentional homicide, stating Choi used a long sword to kill a neighbor and wound another man.

A Jefferson County judge set Choi's bail at $1 million, as Choi appeared for the hearing from jail via video conference. Choi acted as his own attorney.

A criminal complaint states fatal victim Dustiin  Vanderheyden's wife told investigators Choi wanted to be with her, and wanted her to leave her husband. The complaint states when she refused, Choi threatened to use a sword to stab her husband. The document states Choi calmed down, and the woman disregarded the threat.


Authorities

say Choi carried out the attack Thursday in a boarding house above a downtown, Watertown bar. Choi and Vanderheyden lived in units there. Authorities say Choi stabbed another neighbor in the hand.

 Neighbor Paul Groll tells 27 News he believes Choi may have become violent, as a result of Vanderheyden confronting Choi over Choi's claims he was God.

"You hear him in the bathroom talking about aliens," Groll says of Choi.

Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ says Choi's high bail was appropriate because he's a citizen of South Korea, with a Virginia driver's license and few ties to the community. Happ also says Choi failed to report for a meeting in connection with a pre-sentence investigation on a Dodge County felony conviction. Records show a jury convicted Choi of possessing an electric weapon. Authorities say Choi tried to use a taser on neighbors during a dispute in Beaver Dam one year ago.

The judge in Jefferson County court declined to order any mental health evaluation for Choi, although she noted court records indicate mental health matters may surface in the case. Choi objected to any suggestion he be required to take medication, or undergo an evaluation, without a chance to demand such required be carried out fairly.

Choi's next court appearance is June 20.




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