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22-year-old Platte City man denies murdering co-worker

A 22-year-old Platte City man pleaded not guilty earlier this month to killing a 22-year-old co-worker with a hatchet and slashing a 21-year-old Ferrelview woman with a razor.

Platte County prosecutors have charged the man with first-degree murder in connection with the 22-year-old woman's May 31, 2011, death. They also charged the man with first-degree assault in connection with the December 26, 2011 attack on the Ferrelview woman.

On May 31, the man was allegedly hiking at the Platte Falls Conservation Area when he encountered his co-worker fishing. He allegedly told detectives he visited with her for nearly two hours before going into the river to free her fishing line.

The man reportedly told detectives he slipped in the river, and the woman thought he was drowning. He said when he got back to the shore; she screamed at him for scaring her and slapped him. The man allegedly confessed to the detectives that he retaliated by hitting her in the head with a hatchet he found along the river. The woman fell to the ground. It was then the defendant stated that he killed her.

According to the Platte County sheriff, the man, a convenience store clerk, admitted to the criminal activity when detectives questioned him about the December attack.

Prosecutors allege the man also confessed to attacking the Ferrelview woman in her home. He allegedly told detectives he had known the woman for several years, and went to her apartment to spend time with her Christmas night.

According to prosecutors, the man allegedly remembers cutting the woman's stomach with a razor, seriously injuring her. He then collected his beer bottles from her home and left.

The woman told detectives when she got up the next morning, her stomach hurt. She went to the bathroom, and she realized the extent of her injuries when she looked in the mirror. She managed to reach a neighbor's apartment to get help.

The man is being held in Platte County jail on a $750,000 cash bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again later this month. The man also requested a public defender from the court.

It is always important that whether you are being charged or investigated for the death of another individual to contact an attorney prior to speaking with the police. Working with an attorney early in the investigation will ensure that your rights are being protected.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Platte City man pleads not guilty in hatchet slaying, razor attack," Glenn E. Rice and Laura Bauer, Jan. 9, 2012.

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