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"Not Responsible" Verdict in Hatchet Attack on Student in Brown County

Dana Ericson and his 100-year-old mother testified he was having a psychotic episode.

RTV6 contributed to this story

NASHVILLE, Ind.--The trial for Dana Ericson, 61, of Nashville, is over and he's been found not responsible by reason of insanity, of hitting an Asian foreign exchange student in the back with a hatchet a year and a half ago in Nashville, Ind.

A psychotic episode

Ericson testified that he even though he told police he wanted to "kill evil" when he attacked Yue Zhang, 18, of Chine, that he was in a psychotic state, and wanted nothing to do with racial hatred.

Ericson's 100-year-old mother testified that she had seen Ericson in that state before and that it started with euphoria and ended with mania.

The attack

Zhang, who was attending Brown County High School at the time as a foreign exchange stident, did not testify because she is back in China. She did send testimony deposition. She was taking pictures downtown when she was attacked. She told police she heard something to the effect of "I'm going to kill you", before being hit with the hatchet.

The attack bloodied her and left her without full use of an arm for several weeks.

Ericson will be have a commitment hearing. Until then, he'll remain in custody.


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