Domenic Micheli, the man accused of killing a man in an axe attack, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing and arraignment.
During the hearing, the state presented two witnesses. One of them was Robert West, a trainer who was in the Balance Training gym on the morning of the attack and Metro Nashville Police Detective Anthony Daniel.
West was in the back office when he heard a loud commotion. When he came outside, he said he saw Micheli with a hatchet in one hand, and a large ‘butcher knife’-looking weapon in the other hand.
West testified that by the time he came out of the office and was dialing 911, the victim, Joel Paavola had already been struck by Micheli, and had fallen to the floor near the entrance of the gym.
West said Micheli continued to strike the victim before running out of the building and driving away.
District Attorney Generals Megan King and Amy Hunter pointed out that Micheli parked his car several yards away from the entrance of the building, making his entrance a surprise to the two trainers and three clients inside for their early morning workouts.
Detective Daniel testified that Micheli confessed to the killing following his arrest in Bowling Green, Kentucky on June 5. Daniel said two blood stained knives were found in Micheli’s car once it was brought back to Nashville and processed by the MNPD crime lab.
Judge Diane Turner found probable that Micheli committed the offense. Micheli then appeared in Criminal Court for his formal arraignment, as the Grand Jury had already returned an indictment.
He pleaded not guilty. The next court discussion date is set for September 20, 2018. Micheli remained in custody.