After nearly three years of searching, police arrested a Columbia man last week in connection to a 2018 ax attack in the Hulen Lake residential area. 

Keiran Butler, 23, has been charged with second-degree assault for reportedly attacking James Cassity, 72, on Oct. 24, 2018. Butler was implicated after a DNA swab matched blood taken from concrete at the scene of the crime, according to a report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab. 

Cassity reported the assault to Columbia Police after a man hiding on the back porch of his house on Rollins Road came after him with an ax and started swinging. 

Cassity had gone to his backyard to check on a noise, the Missourian has reported. He said at the time he believed the intruder was intentionally making noise to incite his dog and to lure him outside.

When the man came at him with an ax, Cassity said he began to defend himself. He wrestled his attacker to the ground, freeing the ax from the man's grip. 

The man then tried to strangle Cassity, but Cassity said he began hitting his head with the jagged end of an LED flashlight. He then punched and hit the attacker repeatedly with a flashlight and was able to run inside his home. 

"Someone starts whacking at you with an ax, and you start fighting back. He was out to kill," Cassity said at the time.

Butler, who was arraigned Monday, is being held in the Boone County Jail without bond. 

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