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PV woman killed; suspect arrested

The Union StaffCharles Smith
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

A Penn Valley-area woman was stabbed to death late Saturday night as she frantically called for help, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday.

The 41-year-old victim, whose name is being withheld pending notification of her relatives, rushed into the trailer she was sharing with a man she helped cared for on Hutto Road and dialed 911, Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Smith said Sunday. She was topless, he said.



She was on the phone when Charles “Chuck” Smith, an unemployed man with whom she apparently had an on-and-off relationship for the past eight months, allegedly barged into the trailer and stabbed her, possibly twice, Sgt. Smith said. The suspect allegedly fled on foot after the attack.




The victim’s call was recorded at 11:06 p.m. The man the victim helped care for, 47-year-old Martin Daugherty, also called 911, Sgt. Smith said.

Two sheriff’s deputies, Jim Bennett and Sherry Wood, were the first ones on the scene and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the victim for 15 minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene a little before midnight, Sgt. Smith said.

Charles Smith was arrested in a cabin some 30 feet behind the trailer. He was in bed, fully clothed, Sgt. Smith said, and had some blood on his clothing.

When asked what he was doing, Charles Smith answered, “‘Getting drunk,'” the sheriff’s sergeant said.

The suspect was belligerent and shouting and destroyed one rear door of a sheriff’s vehicle on the way to jail, Sgt. Smith said. The suspect was also banging his head and shouting, the sergeant said.

A knife was found in the yard, Sgt. Smith said. Exactly what triggered the attack is not known, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies, including Bennett, had been to the property two to three times to handle disturbances involving the couple, Sgt. Smith said.

The 39-year-old suspect, a former resident of Oregon and Carson City, Nev., has been arrested previously in Nevada County on alcohol-related charges, Sgt. Smith said.

“His criminal history reflects some propensity toward violence,” the sergeant said. “He has an interest in knives and edged weapons.”

Charles Smith was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility at 8:45 a.m. Sunday, according to a booking sheet.

A search warrant was been obtained, and several knives have been sent to the state’s Department of Justice for tracing, the sergeant said.


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