Trial set in Grass Valley attempted murder case |

Trial set in Grass Valley attempted murder case

A Grass Valley man is set to go to trial in January on charges of attempted homicide and criminal threats in connection with a hammer attack on his aunt and uncle.

Eric Craig Hodges, 36, allegedly went to the couple's residence on Maiden Lane on Nov. 30, 2012.

Hodges allegedly hit his aunt several times in the face with the hammer as she pleaded with him to stop and then told her he was going to kill her. He allegedly hit his uncle in the back of the head several times with the claw end of the hammer, reportedly sustaining lacerations to his arm and scalp.

Officers testified during the preliminary hearing that the female victim required 280 stitches due to facial injuries, which included a right eye fracture and left cheekbone fracture, as well as numerous broken bones in her hands and left wrist.

In Nevada County Superior Court Friday morning, Hodges' trial in the attempted murder case was scheduled to begin Jan. 14; it was estimated that it would last two weeks.

Assistant Deputy Attorney Anna Ferguson noted that Hodges faces a maximum term of 36 years to life, meaning he would serve 36 years before being eligible for parole.

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She said she had offered him a "package deal" of 20 years for this case and a subsequent case in which he was charged with battery after allegedly breaking a cell mate's jaw in January.

At 85 percent time, she said, he would serve 17 years, calling it a "huge disparity" in potential time served.

In other court news:

A Penn Valley man facing methamphetamine sales charges pleaded no contest to possession of a controlled substance in court Aug. 29, and will attend drug court.

Todd Christopher Brady, 47, was driving a rental car when he was pulled over by a Nevada County Sheriff's deputy May 29, 2012. Brady appeared to be under the influence of meth, and a search of his vehicle reportedly located about 15 grams of marijuana and a baggie containing about 75.5 grams of meth.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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