Matthew Obrien

Matthew Obrien

PLYMOUTH – A Walkerton man accused of striking another man in the head with a hatchet in June has agreed to plead guilty in connection with the case.

The Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office charged Matthew V. Obrien, 27, in June with battery by means of a deadly weapon and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Earlier this month, Obrien filed a plea agreement. The terms of the agreement were not available. He is scheduled to plead guilty and be sentence at a hearing set for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in Marshall Superior Court I.

According to court documents and a Plymouth Police Department news release:

City officers were dispatched to the intersection of East Garro and Water streets shortly before 2:30 a.m. June 26 on a report of an unknown disturbance.

Officer Paul Stamper was first at the scene. He found Obrien, who was “wearing headgear with antlers,” armed with a knife and a hatchet, according to documents.

Obrien “shouted ‘shoot me’ and ‘kill me,’” according to court papers.

Obrien then pointed the knife at his chest and it appeared to Stamper that Obrien was going to use the dull side of the hatchet “as a hammer to drive the knife into his chest,” the court papers state.

Officer Matt Emenhiser, who had arrived at the scene, fired his Taser at Obrien, but it was only partially effective. The shot knocked Obrien to his knees, but he got up and ran to River Park Square.

Obrien jumped into the Yellow River, sheathed the knife and threw the hatchet into a river bank, according to court papers. He told the officers he might have killed someone.

Obrien ultimately surrendered to the officers.

While he was being taken to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth to be checked, he repeatedly banged his head on the patrol vehicle’s rear windows. He also repeatedly said “he wanted (an) officer to kill him and he wanted to die,” according to court papers.

Obrien was admitted to the hospital and an emergency room doctor said he would be taken to a mental health facility.

Marshall County sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Laffoon went to the home in the 200 block of Garro Street where the original disturbance took place.

A male there told Laffoon that Obrien struck him in the head with the blunt side of the hatchet. A woman at the home said she met Obrien on Facebook, he came over to the residence and then left. When Obrien returned, he was armed with the hatchet and knife and argued with the man about an undisclosed subject, eventually striking him with the hatchet.

The victim was taken to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. He suffered a small cut to the top of his head “with a large area of swelling and bruising around it,” according to documents.

After getting physical and mental health treatment, Obrien was booked into the Marshall County Jail where he remained late last week on $20,000 bond.

The most serious charge against him is the battery count, which is a Level 5 felony. A Level 5 felony carries a sentence of one to six years if convicted.

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