By Marion Vendituoli
June 24, 2020

A plea agreement was entered in the case of Charles Van Nest, Jr. of Patagonia, on June 17 in Superior Court in Nogales. Previously, Van Nest had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges of premeditated attempted murder, and aggravated assault after he allegedly attacked a Patagonia woman in her home on October 4, 2019. 

According to evidence presented at Van Nest’s arraignment by prosecutor Greg Redente on Oct. 11, 2019, “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. 

On June 17, Van Nest changed his plea to guilty to the charge of 1st degree attempted murder and faces a 14-year sentence in a state prison. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Denneen Peterson is scheduled to accept the plea formally on August 14.