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Flashlight used in beating

A 24-year-old south Nevada County man is accused of striking his ex-girlfriend’s uncle in the head with a heavy flashlight late Wednesday night, critically injuring the victim.

Christopher Shaw is facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. If the victim dies, that charge likely will be changed to murder, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

A motive in the beating has not been established, Sheriff Keith Royal said, but the suspect’s ex-girlfriend has told investigators that the fight happened after a night of heavy drinking by all three.



“Shay was arrested based on (the ex-girlfriend’s) statement at the scene,” Royal said. “The use of force is excessive.”

Wednesday at about 11:40 p.m., the sheriff’s office received a report of a man bleeding from his head on Hidden Hill Road, off Highway 49, near Bear River.




Deputies responded to Shay’s residence, where they found a man unconscious, lying in a bed in the office area of a large horse barn.

The victim was identified as Scott Reed, 49. Shay was also found, passed out, in the barn, Royal said. Reed’s 18-year-old niece, Veronica Sobey, said that all three of them had been drinking that night.

Royal said that Sobey told investigators she had stepped out of the barn to go to the bathroom and heard a commotion. When she stepped back inside, Sobey said, she saw Shay about to strike Reed for a second time with a metal flashlight.

Before he could strike the victim again, Sobey told investigators, she jumped on her uncle to protect him.

Her story has not been verified, Royal said.

“She is not being very cooperative,” he said.

She was hit herself in the melee, Royal said, but was not seriously injured.

Reed suffered “significant” head injuries and was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was in critical condition Thursday evening.


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