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California man charged with murder after fatal attack with golf putter

There was disturbing news out of Chico, California on Thursday, where 28-year-old Hunter Edward Hamlin Harris was charged with murder with the use of a weapon—a golf putter—in Butte County Superior Court.

The charge stemmed from a May 26th incident in which Harris attacked Austin Robert Olson-Wanick with a putter inside their Chico apartment. According to an investigation by Chico police detectives, both Harris and Olson-Wanick were staying on the 2500 block of The Esplande with several other people. A physical fight began between the pair outside of the apartment but was quickly broken up by other tenants.


Hunter Edward Hamlin Harris

The pair returned inside, where the fight soon resumed. As the altercation intensified, Harris struck Olson-Wanick in the head and neck several times with the putter. At some point, the head of the putter snapped off, and Harris stabbed Olson-Wanick in the neck with the broken shaft. Though a full forensic autopsy is still pending, authorities say Olson-Wanick suffered severe blood loss from the puncture wound.

Harris’ arraignment is scheduled for June 5th and he will be held at Butte County Jail on a bail of $1,125,000 until that time. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 15 years to life in California, plus potentially 25 additional years for the use of a weapon.