Columbia man charged with axe attack from three years ago

Keiran Butler

A Columbia man is charged with an axe attack, almost three years after the attack occurred.

Keiran Butler, 23, was taken into custody yesterday on one charge of second-degree assault against a special victim. 

The attack happened in October of 2018 when the victim, identified as 72-year-old James Cassity, heard a noise on his back porch in west Columbia.  When Cassity exited onto the porch, he says Butler came at him, swinging the axe.  Cassity told police he was able to wrestle Butler to the ground, getting control of the axe.  When Butler attempted to strangle Cassity, he used a flashlight to break free and run inside his home. 

Investigators say Butler was implicated after a DNA swab taken from the crime scene was recently matched to him.