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Spate of violence shares similar traits

No one died, but reports of violent domestic disputes made new headlines in the days before Wednesday’s murder sentencing of Charles James “Chuck” Smith.

The trend hasn’t eluded Coral Boganes, who said other recent domestic violence cases have gained less notoriety but share similar traits.

“We’ve seen an escalation of rageful attacks under certain circumstances,” said Boganes, executive director for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition, which sent a handful of advocates to Smith’s sentencing.



On New Year’s Day, a 32-year-old woman was stabbed in Grass Valley outside a downtown restaurant. She was in serious condition with multiple wounds Wednesday at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Police accuse the suspect and woman’s ex-boyfriend, Jose Saravia, of attempted murder as he recovers from what police call accidentally self-inflicted wounds.

On Saturday, a 35-year-old Nevada City area woman was hospitalized with numerous cuts and fractures after a dispute with her boyfriend, Scott E. Thomas, according to the Sheriff’s Office.




Four other less-publicized cases Boganes mentioned involved threats of murder, or sometimes murder-suicide.

She said alcohol is a common factor in some of the cases. But from her experience, mental state, or what she called “psychotic episodes,” are overriding issues.

“Their circumstances unravel, they’re literally unraveling as each minute of the day passes,” she said. “The propensity (for violence) is there. The alcohol just makes it happen faster.”

In most cases, DVSAC advocates work with victims to help them through the court case and recovery process.


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