UPDATE: Auxvasse man still in critical condition after assault that resulted in his son's death

Sunday, September 1, 2013 | 6:57 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A Callaway County man is still in critical condition after an assault that left his son dead.

Responders found Michael O'Connor, 57, and his son Zachery O'Connor, 30, early Saturday morning after receiving a call from Jake Gastler of Auxvasse who said he found his neighbors on the ground covered in blood.

Zachery O'Connor was dead when police arrived, but Michael O'Connor was taken by helicopter to University Hospital. As of 5 p.m. Sunday, he is still in critical condition, according to University Hospital house manager Marilyn Henshaw. His son's autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Police have since arrested Gastler, 22, on suspicion of first-degree assault and second-degree murder, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. He is being held on $700,000 bond.

According to the release, police decided to arrest Gastler after "the investigation revealed inconsistencies in Gastler's account of the events."

Earlier this year, Gastler pleaded guilty to two domestic assault charges, according to online court records. He received a 9-month suspended sentence and is currently on probation.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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