Charges reduced in Clinton antique shop pickaxe attack

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CLINTON, Iowa -- Cassandra Doran, the Clinton woman accused of attacking an antique store owner with a pickaxe and putting him in critical condition, is no longer facing attempted murder charges after entering a guilty plea in Clinton County district court on Tuesday, April 24.

Doran - who entered Gazebo Antiques and Collectibles on Feb. 10, 2017, grabbed a pickaxe on display and attacked store owner Bill Conley after he told her to let go of it while she was swinging it around wildly - pleaded guilty to willful injury causing serious injury, use of a dangerous weapon and three counts of criminal mischief.

The attack left Conley in critical condition with head wounds, a broken jaw and six or seven stab wounds and his wife, Becky, suffered a minor heart attack in the altercation.

Watch an interview with attack victim Bill Conley here:

Both Conleys recovered and re-opened the store - which suffered extensive damage - on May 4 of last year.

Yesterday's news from court was bittersweet for Bill, who said he believes attempted murder charges are warranted, but understands why the plea deal was made.

"The charge was well-founded, because she was going to kill me," Conley said Wednesday, while filling out his victim impact statement. "However, being able to prove what was in her mind would be difficult."

Conley said both he and his wife have "good days and not-so-good days."

" I have a hand that is numb all of the time. I have a life sentence with that," he said. "Becky had a stress-induced heart attack and now she seems to be getting along fairly well, although both of us relive it on an intermittent basis. It's something that never goes away."

Conley said he and his wife will be present for Doran's sentencing on May 31. He thanked Clinton County Assistant D.A. Ross Barlow for keeping he and Becky in the loop on the case and seeking their input on the plea agreement.

"We have no intention of missing (the sentencing)," he said. "This way, there is justice."


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