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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
The Patagonia man who allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend has passed up his right to a preliminary hearing on 11/20/19.
Charles Van Nest, the Patagonia man who allegedly stabbed a local women in the neck five times with an ice pic waived his right to the hearing, sending his case straight to trial, according to new court documents obtained by the OSN.
A preliminary hearing is a court deciding weather or not there is enough evidence against the defendant to send it to trial. The hearing is a legal right but can be waived by the defendant if felt that there is enough evidence. Waiving the hearing is not an indication of guilt or innocence.
Van Nest is charged with Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault/Serious Physical Injury, and Aggravated Assault/Deadly Weapon, according to the documents.
Van Nest allegedly used the ice pick on October 4, stabbing his girlfriend multiple times in the neck before fleeing the scene. The victim’s daughter heroically called 9-1-1, saving her mother’s life.
The Orange Street News has received the name of the victim, but is withholding from publishing. Sources told the OSN that the victim is expected to survive.
Irregular in the case have raised questions over potential conflicts.
The Patagonia Marshal office refused to release the name of the suspect or Van Nest’s picture to the public, leaving Van Nest roaming around the community for five days — with the community in fear –– before he was finally apprehended at an abandoned trailer.
It would be forty eight hours after the alleged crime before a picture of the suspect would be given to media — and it came not from the Patagonia Marshal’s office — but from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office, who wasn’t even lead on the case. During the first two days the Marshal’s office refused to identify the suspect — despite a witness of the crime — or release a picture to the community, giving the suspect a valuable head-start.
It wasn’t Van Nest’s first run in with the law. The OSN exclusively reported that Van Nest was charged with “Kidnapping” and “Attempted Second Degree Murder,” and more after a May 10, 1998 incident where police say Van Nest kidnapped his girl friend and held her at gun point. He served only a one year sentence for the crime.
FYI: The practice of waving preliminary hearing is extremely common.