Burlington, Vt. -A Burlington man faces charges of attempted murder. Police say 40 year old James Scarola, a local author, attacked his wife early Sunday morning with a metal baseball bat.
Police say Scarola and his wife are in the middle of a divorce, but still living together.
Scarola was arrested early Sunday morning and initially charged with aggravated domestic assault, but after further investigation police say they added the charge of attempted murder.
Scarola pled not guilty Monday morning to charges of attempted murder and domestic violence.
“In my personal opinion this is one of the worst incidents I’ve seen in a long time,” said Detective Lieutenant Art Cyr with the Burlington Police Department. Cyr says police were called to Scarola's home on Blodgett Street early Sunday morning around 1:45 AM.
“Both police and Burlington fire responded, where they found the victim lying on her bed, with multiple wounds and trauma to the head,” said Cyr.
Court documents show Scarola told police the two were fighting and the argument escalated.
Scarola called 911 and according to court records, told the dispatcher he was the one who hit his wife with a baseball bat.
“Her condition is very poor,” said Cyr
Detective Cyr says Scarola and his wife are going through a divorce, but still living in the same house. And he adds Scarola has had no prior run ins with police.
“Very rarely is it something that we are responding to something this serious and this heinous on our first response to that address,” said Cyr.
While police have had no prior contact with the couple, Michelle Hough with Women Helping Battered Women says all cases are different.
“From many years of answering our hotline, the calls that come in are across the gamut. Emotional abuse is a huge component,” said Hough.
Hough says she's heard from women who have endured years of emotional abuse without ever experiencing anything physical.
Police say whatever happened at Scarola’s house was much more than domestic assault.
“As the investigators got into it and started to unfold and unpackaged the details a little bit more, the heinous and the vulgarness of this incident rose it to a higher level,” said Cyr.
The investigation is ongoing. The victim remains in critical condition.
Scarola is being held without bail and will be back in court on Monday.