Charles Van Nest, Jr., of Patagonia, has been charged with premeditated attempted murder, 1st degree, aggravated assault with serious physical injury, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence/criminal damage and criminal damage for an alleged attack on a female victim that occurred on Oct. 4 at the victm’s house in Patagonia.

According to evidence presented at Van Nest’s arraignment by prosecutor Greg Redente on Oct. 11, “The defendant went to this home where he was no longer living and when the victim saw he was there, she ran and tried to lock herself in the bathroom. “The defendant kicked the door open…He proceeded to stab her in the neck.” There were three children present during the attack, the victim’s two daughters, ages 11 and 8 and another child, age 9, who was visiting. 

Van Nest, who is the son of a former Patagonia Marshal and the Deputy Town Clerk, remained at large until Wed, Oct 9, when he was taken into custody by Marshal Joe Paterson. The lead investigating officer, Patagonia Deputy Dan Atkinson, fled the complaint against Van Nest on Oct 10. 

On Oct. 11, Judge Emilio Velasquez raised the Van Nest’s cash bond from $250,000 to $1 million after the prosecutor requested that the judge re-address the conditions of release. He argued that the defendant posed a danger to the community. “The victim is in fear for her life,” he stated, describing her injuries suffered from “being stabbed in the back of her neck multiple times.” 

Redente also argued that Van Nest “poses a fight risk, citing the fact that he “was on the run” for several days before he was taken into custody by the Patagonia Marshal’s Office. He stated that the prosecution is considering fling additional charges. Van Nest’s next court appearance will Nov 20. 

A gofundme campaign for the victim and her family has raised over $12,000 to date. The victim’s sister posted on Oct. 22 that the victim is home with her parents and recuperating. “She is improving every day, the facial nerve damage is still very frustrating and apparent. She is unable to see very well out of one eye and cannot blink. She will see a facial nerve specialist on the 30th to get more information on long term outcome. She is walking with assistance but not able to go very far and is relying on the wheelchair mostly.”