Man who killed his father in '94 accused of assaulting mother

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Gazette staff
Monday, June 9, 2014

JANESVILLE­—A Janesville man who was 10 when he became the county's youngest murderer got in serious trouble Monday.

Andrew S. Churchwell, 30, who lives in the 1900 block of Purvis Avenue, Janesville, will likely be arrested on a charge of substantial battery after assaulting his mother, with whom he lives, said police Sgt. Mark Ratzlaff.

Police had been called by a relative, and they surrounded the house around 4 p.m. Monday when Churchwell jumped in a car and sped away, Ratzlaff said.

Churchwell crashed the car a short time later near the city limits on West Memorial Drive, Ratzlaff said.

Churchwell was pinned in the car, which appeared to have rolled over several times. He was cooperative, telling officers he had a handgun in the car. Medical personnel gave him a shot to knock him out so he could be extricated safely, Ratzlaff said.

No gun was found, but one was later found at Churchwell's home.

Churchwell's assault left his mother with what is likely a dislocated shoulder, Ratzlaff said.

His mother is bedridden and frail, Ratzlaff said.

When he was 10, Churchwell used a shotgun to kill his father, David C. Churchwell, 45.

At the time, Churchwell was the youngest person ever accused of homicide in Rock County. He was too young under the laws then to be waived into adult court and too young to be found delinquent. Instead, the court ruled he was a child in need of protective services.

Partly because of Churchwell's case, state statutes were changed, allowing children as young as 10 to be charged as adults in murder cases.

Churchwell lived in group homes for several years after the 1994 murder, but he returned to live with his mother in Janesville in 1998, according to Gazette files.

Churchwell in 2005 pleaded guilty to stalking the mother of his children, according to Gazette files.

Last updated: 9:13 pm Monday, June 9, 2014

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