The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

August 24, 2012

Continuance granted in attempted murder trial

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — A Camanche man facing attempted murder charges received a continuance Thursday for a pre-trial conference in order to obtain an evaluation to consider or claim possible defense of diminished responsibility.

Arthur Walker, 52, 4102 Ninth St., Camanche, was charged with attempted murder, second degree sexual abuse and first-degree kidnapping following an incident in which he held his wife hostage with a knife for several hours July 7 at his home.

Diminished responsibility is a potential defense that would allow Walker to be absolved of part of the liability for his alleged criminal actions because of an impaired, or “diminished,” state of mind.  

A court affidavit filed by Camanche police states the victim — who had allegedly sustained severe lacerations to her head, throat and fingers — told police that her husband had been drinking at one of the bars in Camanche earlier that day, was cut off from having more alcohol there, went home and began punching her.

She stated that her husband grabbed a knife and held it against her neck. She said that for the next two hours, he held the knife to her neck while she was sexually abused by him.

The victim was able to escape to a neighbor’s house shortly before 4 p.m. Police state that Walker went into the neighbor’s home and physically removed the victim from the home while armed with the knife and dragged her back into the couple’s residence.

According to the Camanche Police Department, officers were dispatched at 3:52 p.m. The victim was released from the residence shortly after officers arrived.  

As more officers arrived, Walker barricaded himself inside the residence. A long stand-off ensued before officers deployed a Taser and took Walker into custody around 6:45 p.m. 

Walker is being held without bond at the Clinton County jail.  

The kidnapping charge is a Class A felony, which carries a life sentence upon conviction. Second-degree sexual abuse and attempted murder are both Class B felonies that each carry a possible 25-year prison sentence.

The pre-trial hearing was rescheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 18.