Murder update

John Swinger is facing murder charges following a knife altercation that resulted in the death of Louis Martin. 

John B. Swinger, 49, is scheduled to appear for a readiness hearing in Del Norte Superior Court on Dec. 2, and a preliminary hearing Dec. 3 at 9 a.m., facing charges for assault with a deadly weapon and the murder of Louis C. Martin. 

Law enforcement officials said Swinger called the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher on Oct. 26 requesting medical attention for difficulty breathing. When deputies arrived in the 400 block of Cummins Road in Crescent City, officials said, they found Martin dead and Swinger with a laceration across his neck.  

“When [they] arrived at the scene, that's when [they] pieced things together. Some sort of a knife fight had occurred between him and the victim,” said Sheriff’s Commander Bill Stevens. 

The two had an altercation that escalated into each assaulting the other with an edged weapon, according to Stevens.  

Martin sustained multiple stab woundssaid Stevens, while Swinger subsequently requested medical attention for himself.  

Swinger appeared for his first court date on Nov. 1. He’s being held in the Del Norte County Jail.  

Officials said his attorney has waived a bail review hearing.   

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