PRESCOTT - A Cornville man who sheriff's deputies said threatened a couple and then tried to get into their home by firing a rifle multiple times at a locked door was, on Monday, found competent to stand trial.
Clifford Katz, 54, was indicted on one count each of attempted murder, aggravated assault, criminal damage, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In December, he told a husband and wife that he had bought their house in the 2800 block of Tissaw Road in Cornville and wanted them to leave it within 30 minutes, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.
When they refused, Katz told them he could "have them killed," D'Evelyn said, and barged into the house. Then he went into the garage and sat in the 60-year-old man's truck.
D'Evelyn said that when Katz found out police were coming, he left, telling the couple he was going to get his gun and kill them.
The victims, on the phone with 911 dispatchers, watched as Katz went into his own house, and came out with a .22-caliber rifle, D'Evelyn said. The man and his wife barricaded themselves inside and Katz fired at the back door, he said.
Katz continued firing through the door and doorframe, D'Evelyn said, as the first deputy arrived. "It appeared Katz was targeting areas where he thought the couple might be hiding," he added.
The deputy spotted Katz sitting on the back porch with the rifle on a table nearby. He ordered Katz away from the gun and took him into custody.
Detectives seized four pounds of marijuana and a 12-gauge shotgun when they served a search warrant at Katz's home, D'Evelyn said. They found furniture in his home that appeared to have been damaged by bullet fragments.
Monday, Katz appeared before Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock, who had received a psychological examination report and ruled that he is competent to move forward.
She assigned the case to Judge Jennifer Campbell for further appearances.
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