Domestic attack leaves victim in critical condition - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington author charged with attempted murder

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James Scarola James Scarola

Prosecutors are calling the inside of the Scarola family's Blodgett Street home in Burlington -- a chilling crime scene.

"The photos in this case are nothing short of horrific. This was absolutely vicious. It was brutal," said Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan.
Shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday, Burlington police got a 911 call from 40-year-old James Scarola. He allegedly told the dispatcher he hit his wife and she was bleeding.  When police arrived at the couple's home they say they found 36-year-old Colleen Scarola in a pool of blood in the bedroom.  Investigators say the couple was going through a divorce, got into a fight and James Scarola allegedly hit his wife in the head with his son's aluminum baseball bat -- cracking her skull and damaging her brain.

"At this stage it's unknown whether or not she will survive, so this is an ongoing investigation. If she were to pass away the state would seek a murder charge against the defendant," Donovan said.

In the meantime, investigators are taking a close look at Scarola's writing. He is a published author, writing suspense novels about terror, death and science fiction.  Now he is at the center of his own horror story.

"We don't know much about that. The police are looking into that as well and looking into the types of books he wrote," Donovan said.

Prosecutors say the couple's children -- aged 5 and 7 -- were still asleep upstairs when police arrived. They're now investigating whether Scarola drugged the kids prior to the alleged attack. He's being held without bail and denies the charges. 

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