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Lyons man charged with attempted murder heard voices, choked woman

Lyons man charged with attempted murder heard voices, choked woman

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Albert Christensen

Albert Christensen

A Lyons man stands accused of trying to kill a woman and other crimes after he reportedly choked her twice on Thursday night, causing her to lose consciousness each time, according to court paperwork.

Albert Gerald Christensen, 29, was charged Friday afternoon in Linn County Circuit Court with attempted second-degree murder, two counts of strangulation and two counts of fourth-degree assault.

Judge Michael Wynhausen set his bail at $500,000 in the case, as requested by prosecutor Michael Paul.

“This was a very violent episode. … Mr. Christensen was going through some sort of psychotic episode,” Paul said. “This was just extremely scary and we’re lucky (she) is still alive.”

Christensen told Wynhausen that he had been enduring mental health problems for two years, and his medications had recently stopped working.

The crimes allegedly occurred in the 300 block of Juniper Lane in Lyons, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, deputies responded to the Christensen family residence at about 7:20 p.m. on Thursday.

Christensen, who was standing outside the home, told deputies that he needed to be arrested and placed his hands behind his back, the affidavit states.

The accuser said she had made food for Christensen and brought it to his bedroom. He then told her he was hearing voices and backhanded her, she told authorities, according to the affidavit.

Christensen then put both hands around her neck and started to choke her. The woman tried to protest but couldn’t speak. She woke up an unknown time later, according to court paperwork.

After a few minutes, she said, she went out to the front porch to talk to Christensen, who had gone outside. He stepped in front of her, placed both hands around her neck and squeezed, causing her to lose consciousness again, the woman told authorities.

“When asked, Christensen admitted to choking and slapping (the accuser). Christensen stated evil took over and wanted him to kill (the woman). Christensen said he strangled (her) until he saw her eyes roll back in her head,” a deputy wrote in the affidavit.

Christensen said he only stopped choking the woman because his father came out and pushed him off her, the deputy added. Paul said that Christensen’s father thought that Christensen was going to kill the woman.

Court paperwork also indicates that Christensen slapped his mother in the face. She is listed as one of the victims on an assault charge.

Christensen’s mother told authorities that her son was screaming inside the home that he was going to kill everyone in the family.

Christensen also was arraigned for probation violation in a second-degree trespassing case. Wynhausen set his security at $5,000 in that matter.

The next court hearing in the attempted murder case was scheduled for March 2.

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

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