Suspect knockout

Accused killer bangs head in court

Christopher Warren Swihart (pictured), a Chico man facing a murder charge in Butte County Superior Court, reportedly pounded his forehead on a courtroom table with enough force to knock himself out during an April 30 hearing, according to a press release from the District Attorney’s Office.

Two court bailiffs reacted, with one clearing the courtroom and the other administering medical aid to Swihart, who was reportedly conscious but unresponsive. He was removed from the courtroom and brought back to the jail, where he was tended to by medical staff.

When back in court several hours later, Swihart changed his not guilty plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Swihart is charged with the March killing of Chico resident Cass Edison, whose body was found in a utility trailer at a house in west Chico. Soon after he was named a suspect, Swihart turned himself over to authorities. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 19.