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NorCal Man Offers Insanity Plea In Axe Hacking Deaths

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A log-splitting axe. (b.gliwa/Wikimedia Commons)

A log-splitting axe. (b.gliwa/Wikimedia Commons)

MOUNTAIN GATE, Shasta County (CBS/AP) — A Northern California man charged with hacking two men to death with an axe used to split logs has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Thirty-five-year-old Thomas McDonald entered the plea in Shasta County Superior Court through his attorney on Tuesday.

The judge appointed a psychologist to evaluate him.

McDonald is facing first-degree murder, aggravated mayhem and other charges in the February 2012 attack on 54-year-old Karl Bradshaw and 84-year-old Ralph Gearhart Torborg in the town of Mountain Gate.

Authorities say McDonald randomly attacked the two men with a splitting maul after a disturbance at his house.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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