Union-Bulletin Court Report

DAYTON — The trial-setting date for a local man accused of beating a woman with a candlestick holder was continued on Wednesday to October because his attorney wasn’t qualified to handle violent crimes.

William H. Fletcher, 38, of Dayton was charged with first-degree assault after he allegedly attacked a woman while helping her with her laundry on Jan. 7. He has been in the Columbia County Jail since his arrest. His bail was set at $100,000.

Columbia County Prosecuting Attorney Dale Slack said Fletcher’s attorney, Rachel Cortez, now will work with Julie Carlson-Straube because she wasn’t qualified to handle “most serious, violent crimes” and the trial will be scheduled on Oct. 9.

The hearing for trial setting has been continued several times for various reasons, including having Fletcher receive a mental health evaluation. Fletcher pleaded not guilty on Jan. 23 to the alleged crimes.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home Jan. 7 on West Patit Avenue and found Fletcher leaning against a fence and the woman inside the home. Fletcher appeared groggy and had blood around his mouth, court records stated. He told deputies he’d had a seizure.

The woman’s face was bleeding, and she told paramedics Fletcher had attacked her with a candlestick holder after having or faking a seizure, court records said.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 526-8325.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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