Orange Street News


EXCLUSIVE Van Nest to Change Plea

By Hilde Kate Lysiak


The local man who earlier this year plead guilty to the charge of attempted murder will soon be changing his plea, according to documents obtained by the OSN.

Charles Van Nest, the man who allegedly stabbed a woman in the neck with an ice pic, originally plead not guilty to several charges against him on December 9th. Sources tell the OSN that a change of plea hearing usually happens when the defendant and the prosecution have reached an agreement or wants to plead no contest or guilty to the court.

Phone calls and emails to Van Nest’s lawyer have not been returned by deadline.

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 was ordered to remain in custody of the sheriff. 

The hearing has been scheduled for Feb 7th at 1:30 pm at Santa Cruz Superior Court.

3 comments on “EXCLUSIVE Van Nest to Change Plea

  1. brock fuller
    February 4, 2020

    I was the JP for his “1st felony matters” back in 98….thru IA, Arraignment, PH (waived). He was obviously very ‘troubled’ and dangerous back then and obviously continues to be so today. The current victim’s family were and are good friends. This matter is a terrible tragedy for them and for the entire Patagonia community.

    TB Fuller Bernalillo, NM.



  2. Pingback: OSN Top Stories of the Month JANUARY | Orange Street News

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