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Decatur man denies attempted murder charge after victim stabbed in face and body

Decatur man denies attempted murder charge after victim stabbed in face and body

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DECATUR — Atheree T. Chaney pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder after police said he inflicted multiple stab wounds to a Decatur man’s face and body.

Conducting a preliminary hearing on the case Wednesday, Macon County Circuit Court Judge Phoebe Bowers was told police officers described the facial wound as being so deep the victim’s teeth were visible from the outside.

Giving evidence, Decatur police detective Jason Danner said officers had to wait until the 25-year-old victim had reconstructive surgery before they could talk to him.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Chaney also denied charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the alleged knife attack, which dates to the night of Feb. 4 at Chaney’s home in the 200 block of East Center Street.

Bowers found probable cause to try Chaney, 52, on all the charges and scheduled a pretrial hearing for April 6. Chaney remains in custody at the Macon County Jail in lieu of making bail set at $200,000, which means he must post $20,000 to be released.

A sworn affidavit about the case said the victim was found by police in the 1300 block of North Water Street with a stab wound to his left arm, two stab wounds to the chest, two stab wounds to the neck and the large facial wound, which ran from his nose to his chin.

When he could speak, the victim is quoted as telling police he went over to Chaney’s home to share and smoke a “rock” of crack cocaine with Chaney and his wife. He then describes Chaney as suddenly launching a frenzied attack on him with a pocketknife, inflicting the wounds on his body and face before the victim was thrown out of the house.

But the affidavit also quotes Chaney as saying the victim attacked him after finishing his share of the crack rock and wanting the piece Chaney had, which he refused to hand over. When Chaney grabbed it after the victim had reached for it, he told police the victim punched him in the face and a fight broke out.

This version of what happened was emphasized when defense attorney Dave Ellison questioned Danner at Wednesday’s hearing. Ellison highlighted comments from Chaney who admitted to police he had armed himself with the knife but said he ended up lunging “blindly” with it to defend himself after his hooded sweatshirt had been pulled over his face during the fight.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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