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December 8, 2012
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No plea yet for attempted murder suspect


A Grass Valley man charged with attempted murder delayed entering a plea in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday.

Eric Craig Hodges, 36, allegedly went to a residence on Maiden Lane at about 1 p.m. Nov. 30 and attacked the couple who live there with a hammer.

The attack is believed to have been premeditated and might be related to a potential abusive situation dating back to his childhood, according to Grass Valley Police Capt. Rex Marks.

The 48-year-old male victim sustained lacerations to the head and was treated and released. His 41-year-old wife had a fractured jaw and lacerations to the face and head and remains in the hospital.

Hodges was booked into county jail on suspicion of attempted murder, second-degree burglary and making criminal threats and is being held without bail.

After the Nevada County Public Defender’s office declared a conflict of interest, attorney Gary Gordon was appointed to represent Hodges Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger granted temporary criminal protective orders for the two victims for a year, citing the seriousness of the alleged crime.

Hodges will be back in court Dec. 20 and likely will enter a plea at that time.

In other court news

— A Grass Valley woman suspected of arson in the wake of an October fire in downtown Grass Valley has been declared not mentally competent.

One apartment unit sustained major damage, but no one was hurt in the fire that started in the two-story building next to Grass Valley’s city hall.

Patti Jill Radabaugh, 49, was arrested after witnesses said she started the fire deliberately,

On Thursday, Heidelberger found Radabaugh not mentally competent to stand trial and referred her to be evaluated for outpatient treatment or hospitalization. Radabaugh is set to return to court Dec. 27.

— An Alta Sierra man pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly throwing knives at his son, then baiting law enforcement officers to shoot him in an April incident.

Nicholas Joseph Severin, 36, was arrested after his 17-year-old stepson called 911 to report his father was coming after him with a knife.

The boy told deputies his father had been punching his mother, and he tried to intervene. The two fought before the father allegedly grabbed some knives, then began throwing knives at the boy.

After Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, Severin allegedly began making threats that he had a gun and threatened to shoot them.

He allegedly “ran at” deputies, then tried to flee before being tased and arrested.

Severin reportedly is 100 percent disabled due to a neurological disorder and went into a detox program to be weaned off pain medication. On Thursday, he took a plea agreement in return for three years probation and up to one year in county jail. The court noted that there might be alternatives to jail time as Severin is a combat vet who is completely disabled. Sentencing was set for March 14.

— Two Grass Valley men suspected of stealing a truck late last month were in court Thursday; one man took a plea agreement, and charges were dismissed against the second man.

The owner of a cab company on Olympia Park Road reported the theft of a Toyota Tacoma pickup, and Grass Valley Police officers allegedly found Michael Scott Reeves, 29, in possession of the truck.

A search of Reeves’ residence in the 15000 block of Little Valley Road uncovered a number of items that had been reported stolen from the truck. Matthew Richards, 35, was found in possession of the Tacoma’s keys.

Richards pleaded no contest to vehicle theft and possession of stolen property; he also pleaded no contest to two separate charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance in two prior misdemeanor cases.

He will serve a total of eight months in county jail, then will be placed on two years probation. The case against Reeves was dismissed.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.


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The Union Updated Dec 10, 2012 12:29PM Published Dec 17, 2012 01:47PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.