James “Anthony” Swift, charged in Waukesha County Court on Feb. 21 with misdemeanor negligent handling of a weapon and a felony count of substantial battery, will be brought to trial, despite prosecuting attorney Timothy Westphal’s admission at the Feb. 7 hearing that the case might have “trial issues.”
Judge Thomas Pieper presided over the preliminary hearing and found that there was probable cause that a felony or felonies had been committed.
Swift, 40, was charged with allegedly stabbing Gregory Mix, 55, with a knife and beating him on the night of Jan. 18. Mix said he and his daughter’s fiancée Aaron Wright had confronted Swift over things Swift had said about Vera Mix, 24, who is eight months pregnant.
Gregory said Swift had allegedly touched his daughter inappropriately and made lewd comments about her.
Swift, however, told police that Wright had allegedly started the fight in Vera’s apartment, punching him in the head and neck.
Gregory then started punching him and he responded in self-defense. He said Gregory grabbed the knife and he wrestled the older man to the ground, the knife always in Mix’s hands.
Three Waukesha Police Department officers were called to testify at Swift’s hearing.
Officer David Neill said he was with Gregory after he was transported to the officer. He said Gregory told him that Swift “crouched over him with a knife, doing something,” but the officer said Gregory did not say specifically what was done.
Neill also said he was not sure if Swift was invited to Vera’s apartment, but Vera had never asked him to leave.
None of the officers who testified could say whether the knife in question had been fingerprinted or if DNA on the knife had been tested.
An arraignment hearing, where formal charges will be brought, was scheduled for March 7.
Westphal told Piper he needed more time to decide what to charge with.
“I just want to be careful that I don’t overcharge or undercharge,” he said.
After the hearing, Westphal told the police officers called to testify: “I am still going to charge him with felonies, its just deciding which ones.”
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