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Grove City man pleads guilty in violent ax assault

LITCHFIELD — A Grove City man has pleaded guilty to one felony charge connected to an incident in which he choked a man, hit him with a beer bottle and threatened people with an ax.

KC Matthew Cline, 26, of Grove City, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Meeker County District Court in Litchfield. He was originally charged with five felonies and pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. The other four charges were dismissed in a plea agreement.

Cline's sentencing date is Oct. 3.

According to the information in court files, Cline was charged with first- and second-degree assault, domestic assault by strangulation, criminal damage to property, and threats of violence in September 2016.

The incident took place at a house and garage in Grove City, where Cline and the victim were having an intense verbal argument in the garage. As it escalated, Cline allegedly hit the man over the head with a beer bottle, threw him against a door and punched him in the head. He also used his arm to choke the man until he couldn't breathe.

When the man ran away, witnesses tried to stop Cline from pursuing him. The man was able to escape and hide in a nearby cornfield.

Cline then got an ax from the garage and used it to break down a door and struck vehicles with it. Cline also yelled at the man in the cornfield, telling him to come out so that Cline could kill him.

When Meeker County sheriff's deputies arrived, they found the victim in the cornfield with multiple head injuries and hand wounds described as "defensive." Cline was still at the scene and still holding the ax.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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