By Joe Johnson
An Athens man who was charged nearly two years ago for allegedly trying to murder his girlfriend with a baseball bat was recently denied bail for a third time since his arrest.
According to an order filed Sept. 9 in Clarke County Superior Court, Western Judicial Circuit Judge H. Patrick Haggard determined that 53-year-old Christopher Adam Warden should not be released from jail because he “poses a significant threat to a person, the community or the property of the community,” and committing a felony while awaiting trial.
According to Athens-Clarke County police, the incident occurred early the morning of Jan. 6, 2019 in the couple’s trailer at the Oak Grove Mobile Home Park off Lexington Road. Responding to 2:34 a.m. report of an assault in progress, officers heard sounds of a struggle inside the home and a 911 dispatcher informed them that the victim said she was being beaten with a bat, according to police.
Officers subsequently forced their way into the residence, police said.
While detaining Warden, officer began providing emergency aid to the 46-year-old victim, police said.
An officer forced open the trailer’s back door to provide National EMS personnel quicker access to the severely injured woman, police said.
After helping load the victim onto a stretcher and into an ambulance, the officer drove the ambulance to the hospital to allow the EMS crew to continue providing “life-saving care,” according to police.
Warden was arrested at the scene and initially charged under the state Family Violence Act with aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
A grand jury subsequently charged Warden with criminal attempt to commit murder for striking the victim “in the head with a baseball bat with force.”
The alleged attack “constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of (murder,)” the indictment noted.
Warden was additionally charged in the indictment with family violence aggravated assault and two counts of family violence aggravated battery for “rendering” the victim’s jaw and a finger “useless.”
Warden was previously denied bail on Jan. 19, 2019, and Jan. 16 and June 3 of this year.
Prior to Warden’s previous request for Haggard to set bail, the District Attorney Office filed a notice of intent to seek sentencing for Warden as a recidivist.
According to the court filing, Warden has convictions dating to 1991 in Georgia, Maryland, Virgina and Florida for offenses that include felony battery, child cruelty, burglary and distribution of marijuana.
Anyone in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.