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Man accused of hatchet attack appears in court

Daniel Carter will stay in jail on a $20,000 cash bond after his preliminary hearing. He appeared in front of a judge accused of hitting his neighbor with a hatchet charged with first degree assault.

Tears ran down Daniel Carter's face as witnesses recounted the early morning hours of July 4th. Police say 39-year-old Christopher Mitchell died after Daniel Carter hit him in the head with a hatchet, but Carter said he was simply defending himself. Carter's roommate, Chris Morgan, said Mitchell attacked Carter with a spear-like pole before Carter swung. Carter's attorney, Greg Coulson, says today was in important step for his client.

"We're very positive. We feel like the facts were well-presented today and that they really favor Mr. Carter and what he's been saying all along. We're glad that people are finally getting to hear his side of the story and the truth as established by several other individuals in this case," said Coulson.

Carter was charged with fleeing and evading police in the first degree, but that was amended to fleeing and evading second after Judge Mary Jane Phelps decided Carter didn't put officers in danger of injury when he ran from them.

"It's important. It's important to us that it was amended from a felony to a misdemeanor and, obviously, we don't want any of our clients to face more serious charges than they need to. I think the judge was very fair to us today," said Coulson.

Carter's attorney didn't use the self-defense argument against the assault charge today, but said he would if the case goes to trial. The grand jury could change the assault charge to something more serious.

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