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Man Accused of Hatchet Attack on Family Refuses Legal Counsel

Appearing in court today, 23-year-old Cheney Hardt repeatedly refused a public defender as he faced charges related to the brutal assault of his mother, father and younger brother.

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 4:24 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 6:10 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Less than a day after an apparent hatchet attack that sent two parents to Sky Lakes Medical Center with critical injuries, accused attacker Cheney Hardt appeared in court via webcam from the Klamath County Jail. Cheney is the 23-year-old son of the two victims.

NewsWatch 12 had a reporter in the Klamath County courtroom today, where Cheney appeared before Judge Andrea Janney.

In both signed court documents and in verbal statements, Cheney repeatedly waived his right to court-appointed counsel, answering affirmatively that he understood the consequences.

"To waive your right to counsel would put you at a significant disadvantage....do you understand that?" Judge Janney asked. Cheney said that he understood.

"You are charged with several incredibly serious crimes, do you understand that?" Judge Janney asked Cheney. The defendent said that he understood.

Citing an apparently 'significant mental health history,' the court shut down Cheney's attempt to refuse counsel, appointing a public defender—defense attorney Mark Costello. The judge also denied bail for Cheney, saying that he would be a 'tremendous danger to himself and the community' if released.

CLICK HERE for the full story on the hatchet attack that led to Cheney Hardt's arrest.

Cheney Hardt was arrested on three counts of Attempted Murder, three counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and one count of First Degree Assault. He will not be formally charged until a Grand Jury hears the case.

At the time of this article's posting Friday afternoon, 51-year-old Julie Hardt was reported to be in critical condition at Sky Lakes Medical Center, suffering from a hatchet blow to the head. 52-year-old Shawn Hardt has been upgraded to serious condition, reportedly from three hatchet blows to the chest.

According to a statement from the Klamath County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), Cheney Hardt attacked both of his parents with a hatchet before his 18-year-old younger brother Steen Hardt found a knife, stabbing Cheney and incapacitating him until police could arrive.

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