The 38-year-old Carmichael father accused of trying to kill his two children and take his own life had previously been convicted of domestic violence, according to Sacramento court records.
Charles Lee Ewers was being held without bail at the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and felony child endangerment after, officials said, he locked himself and his children in a car in his garage and let the exhaust fumes seep into the vehicle.
The two children, ages 8 and 10, had been visiting Ewers on Saturday per an agreed-upon child visitation agreement. But when they did not return to their mother at the scheduled time, she called police.
Deputies arrived at a “darkened home” in the 500 block of North Avenue in Carmichael about 9 p.m. Saturday. No one answered the front door, officials said, but deputies could hear the sounds of an engine running inside the locked garage.
When investigators forced open the garage, they found a car running with a hose attached from the exhaust pipe to the inside, where two semi-conscious children sat in the back seat, officials said. A man, later identified as their father, was in the front seat.
Deputies pulled all three out of the sedan and carried the children to the front yard. There, the Sheriff’s Department said, investigators noticed what appeared to be “significant traumatic physical injuries” on the kids’ bodies. Detectives later determined that Ewers physically assaulted the children before placing them in the back seat of the vehicle in an attempt to kill them and take his own life, according to a news release from the department.
Ewers was arrested Tuesday upon his discharge from a hospital. The children remained hospitalized Tuesday in serious but stable condition, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
In 2013, Ewers pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge. He was accused of inflicting “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition,” according to state law. He completed a batterer’s treatment program that same year and paid restitution.
Ewers is scheduled to be arraigned on the attempted murder and child endangerment charges Thursday morning.
Call The Bee’s Marissa Lang at (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Marissa_Jae.