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Charge reduced against husband accused in baseball bat beating

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Charges were reduced against a Chesterfield man accused of beating his wife with a baseball bat. Prosecutors reduced the felony malicious wounding charge against Russell Hornkohl to malicious wounding.

The change means, if found guilty, Hornkohl goes from facing life in prison to a maximum of 20 years.

The reduction was part of a deal that was struck to prevent Hornkohl’s wife from testifying in court. Hornkohl waived his right to a preliminary hearing. A grand jury will now consider the charge against Hornkohl in January.

Hornkohl’s lawyer admitted in Tuesday’s hearing that Hornkohl is guilty of the attack – but – claimed he was not in his right mind. The defense attorney said it’s now up to a jury to determine Hornkohl’s fate.

In August, police were called to a domestic assault in the 4900 block of Kimmeridge Drive. There they found a woman who claimed Hornkohl hit her in head with a baseball bat.

Police later tracked Hornkohl down on Hull Street Road. Hornkohl exited his car carrying a gun, police said. Officers shot Hornkohl when they said he raised their weapon, refusing orders to drop the gun.

Hornkohl’s wife suffered non-life threatening injuries.