Ax assault suspect taken into custody

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staff, Gazette
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

— A Janesville man has been taken to a mental health facility after authorities said he attacked his ex-girlfriend and another man with an ax Saturday night.

Jeffrey Starkman, 34, was arrested Sunday morning after police said he assaulted 28-year-old Katrina Patrick and 30-year-old Jonathan C. Barthel at 419 S. Main St. around 10 p.m. Saturday.

Patrick and Barthel were still in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries Monday, said Lt. Keith Lawver. They were taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center on Saturday night after suffering head injuries from blows with an ax, authorities said.

Police have recommended charging Starkman with two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide as well as burglary while armed and fleeing an officer, according to a news release.

Those charges are on hold, however, as Starkman is in custody at a mental health facility, Lawver said.

Starkman has not appeared in court, Lawver said, and he has not been scheduled yet to do so. Starkman will not be charged until he has been released from the hospital.

Lawver declined to say where Starkman was being held.

Starkman and Patrick had been in a years-long relationship before the attack, Lawver said, and "were in the process of breaking up."

On Saturday night, Lawver said Starkman attacked Patrick with an ax on the porch of the home on South Main Street, which court records indicate was Patrick's. Starkman then went into the home and attacked Barthel before fleeing, Lawver said.

Patrick called 911 once Starkman left, at 10:17 p.m., Lawver said.

Police spent much of Saturday night combing the neighborhood around Patrick's home looking for Starkman.

Starkman was arrested just before 7 a.m. Sunday at a truck stop in Beloit after fleeing from police on Interstate 90, according to a news release.

Barthel needed surgery for head injuries suffered in the attack, according to the news release.

Last updated: 10:25 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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