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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
The judge in the Patagonia stabbing suspect’s hearing has reassigned the case and the hearing has been delayed due to a conflict of interest, the OSN has exclusively learned.
Charles Van Nest, the man who allegedly stabbed a Patagonia woman in the neck five times with an ice pick, had his case assigned to a new judge.
The hearing was originally scheduled to be heard by Judge Thomas Fink on Dec. 2nd, but Judge Fink reassigned the case due to a conflict. Judge Denneen Peterson will now preside over the case, the OSN has learned.
It is unclear what the conflict was.
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.
Van Nest’s new arraignment hearing will now be on Monday the 9th of December, 2019.