Man Accused of Claw Hammer Attack Pleads ‘Not Guilty’


James ” Jimmy” Erickson told a judge Thursday morning he’s not guilty in the vicious claw hammer attack that hospitalized two people at Key West Lounge on Airport Boulevard.

Erickson was arrested Tuesday and told reporters he doesn’t remember much of anything from the night of the attack but admits he could have been high on drugs.

In court, Judge Jill Phillips said Erickson has an extensive  criminal history with crimes in Alabama, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Given his history and the nature of the crime, Phillips told the courtroom she thought Erickson is a “danger to the community at large.”

However, since Erickson is not facing a capital offense, Phillips said he’s entitled to a bond and assigned him a $30,000 bond for his assault 1st-degree charge and $15,000 for his assault second-degree charge.

Gordan Gipson, the husband of one of the victims, said he was disappointed about the bond, but said the judge made him optimistic about the case.

“When they brought up his previous record, drug history…. violent history, maybe that’ll be something on our side to get him what he deserves,” Gipson said.

Erickson was appointed an attorney and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in October.

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