A Virginia man was sentenced to 13 years in prison Monday for the attempted murder of Kimberly Kelly.
William James Bruce, 46, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder with intent, not premeditated, according to Rosalyn Engelstad, court supervisor of the St. Louis County Courthouse in Virginia.
Bruce was charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder and first- and second-degree assault in the Aug. 14 stabbing of Kelly. Bruce and Kelly had been engaged, and were going through a separation, according to Bruce's attorney, Bruce Williams.
The other charges were dismissed under a plea agreement worked out with the St. Louis County attorney's office.
"We believe it was an appropriate sentence in this matter," said Gordon Coldagelli, St. Louis County prosecutor.
Bruce requested that the guideline sentence be reduced to 130 months, but was denied by 6th Judicial District Judge Gary Pagliaccetti.
In court Monday, Williams said, Bruce blamed alcohol abuse for his actions and said he acts out when backed into a corner.
"The judge was not persuaded," Williams said. "Judge Pagliaccetti said this easily could have been a homicide case had the victim died."
When Bruce was arrested, he told authorities that he had caught Kelly engaged in a sex act with Virginia City Councilor Dennis Lindberg five days before the stabbing.
According to the criminal complaint, Bruce said he would have killed Kelly if he could, and said if he saw Lindberg, he would kill him. He told the court Monday Kelly had written him several letters recently saying she still loved him, Williams said, and offered them to the county attorney's office. The office declined them, he said.
"I'm elated this case is over," Williams said. "It's received a lot of attention for the wrong reasons and I hope the victim has a full and speedy recovery."
Bruce was credited with 112 days of jail time.