No contest plea in killing

Christopher Swihart pleads no contest to second degree murder in the death of longtime Chicoan Cass Edison

Chicoan Christopher Swihart, 50, pleaded no contest last week to second degree murder in the killing of 55-year-old Cass Edison last March 16. He had previously pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, the latter of which came after he knocked himself out in the courtroom while awaiting a preliminary hearing date.

Police suspected Swihart after locating Edison’s body on a utility trailer that he owned. Cause of death was blunt force trauma. Physical evidence was found in Swihart’s home, including blood stains and masking tape and sheets matching the materials used to wrap the body, according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. In addition, Swihart apparently told a friend what he’d done prior to turning himself in.

Swihart (pictured) faces 17 years to life in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing May 17.