OCEANSIDE — A Vista Superior Court judge found enough evidence at a preliminary hearing Jan. 21 to order a local artist to stand trial for a vicious attack on his wife.
Blane Richard Bizzaro, 45, is accused of slashing his wife, Eugenia Bizzaro, across the forehead with a machete in their Oceanside mobile home after an argument ensued about the defendant practicing archery in their neighborhood.
He is charged with a single felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting injury on his spouse and inflicting injury to his wife with a prior conviction for domestic violence. A weapons and great bodily injury allegation are attached to each count.
Blane Bizzaro, a professional artist, has several misdemeanor domestic violence convictions dating back to 2002.
Most recently, Blane Bizzaro won the 2008 first National Library Week Poster contest for his interpretation of the theme “Read, Discover, Learn at your Library,” according to a city of Oceanside press release.
Blane Bizzaro, who remains in custody on $400,000 bail, is scheduled to be back in court Feb. 17 for a readiness conference. A trial date has been set for March 10.
If convicted on all charges, Blane Bizzaro faces up to 10 years in prison and a strike, Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said in an interview following the hearing.
Prosecutors allege last Nov. 17, Blane Bizzaro slashed his wife twice across the forehead with a 22-inch machete slicing two to three inches of skin off her forehead and leaving Eugenia Bizzaro with a gash that required numerous stitches and plastic surgery. He then fled from the residence with the weapon, prosecutors said.
Oceanside police Officer Scott Hunter testified Blane Bizzaro turned himself in to authorities the following day. He told them he stashed the machete across the way from the department station, the officer said. Hunter said the knife was located buried under some brush behind several businesses across the street from the police station. He said the weapon still had blood on it, as well as some water.
After his arrest, Blane Bizzaro told police he’d been on a two-day drinking binge when the attack occurred. He said his wife was on the phone when he struck her with the machete, Hunter said. Blane Bizzaro told authorities he thought she might attack him with the phone, the officer said.
Following the hearing, Eugenia Bizzaro, who testified against her husband, said the incident is a “tragedy” for their family, and she hoped the case could be resolved with her husband receiving treatment for his alcoholism and manic depression.
Unlike other domestic violence cases where the victim covers for their significant other, Eugenia Bizzaro made it clear she’s not “negating“ or “minimizing“ what happened, she said she just wants her husband to get the help he needs, which a prison sentence won’t afford him.
Blane Bizzaro’s attorney, Sloan Ostbye, said she’s hoping to negotiate a deal for him that would require him to serve a year or less of jail time before being enrolled in a court ordered residential treatment center.
Watanabe said he couldn’t comment on any future plea offers or resolutions for the case. “Often times DV victims minimize the seriousness of the crime against them, however, it is the District Attorney’s duty to ensure that victim’s are protected even if they don’t think they need protection,” Watanabe said.