A Burlington mom remains in critical condition after her husband allegedly beat her with a baseball bat over the weekend. The couple's two young kids slept through the attack. Now police and prosecutors are focused on the children's statements regarding a possible drugging.
Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan said Tuesday that Colleen Scarola's children told police that "daddy gave them special candy" the night before the alleged attack.
Prosecutors say when James Scarola, 40, was arrested, they found pills on him, but they wouldn't say what they were. Police then got search warrants to test the children's blood for possible traces of the drug. Those results are expected by the end of the week and could add to the charges against him.
Colleen Scarola's friends and family are trying to remain optimistic. And the community is coming together to support the mother of two, fighting for her life in Fletcher Allen's Intensive Care Unit.
"We want to get out to the community the message that we are a very resilient community, we're a very cohesive community, but we also stand firm in our beliefs that violence against women and domestic abuse is not acceptable," said Brian Williams, the principal of the Sustainability Academy.
Police say Sunday, Colleen's husband, James Scarola, called 911 allegedly confessing to hitting his wife. When investigators arrived they found Colleen in a pool of blood with multiple skull fractures. The 36-year-old is an energy consultant with Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. Friends say she's also a mom, with a kindergartner and second-grader at Burlington's Sustainability Academy. Tuesday night, the community will gather outside the school in vigil.
"This school is a very intricate part of the Old North End community and there was an expression by the community that something needed to happen, we needed to get together, we needed to be able to console each other and to support each other and out of that the idea was born to host the candlelight vigil here tonight," Williams said.
That vigil begins at 7 p.m. School officials are asking folks to gather at the outside classroom by the North Champlain Street entrance. Representatives from local religious organizations, domestic violence advocates and city officials will also be in attendance.
Prosecutors say the couple's children are with grandparents. James Scarola is being held without bail, charged with attempted second-degree murder and aggravated domestic assault.