Breckenridge man gets 18 years for stabbing girlfriend
summit daily news
Vail, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE – A man who pleaded guilty to repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend with a kitchen knife last fall was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison.
“This is the epitome of the classic case of what society is trying to prevent in terms of domestic violence,” Chief District Judge Terry Ruckriegle said during the sentencing,
Steven Carter, 31, was found lying in a pool of blood with the victim in the hallway outside an Illinois Gulch residence the morning of Nov. 25. Both were unconscious.
Carter had stabbed the 44-year-old victim in the chest three times before stabbing himself three times.
“It’s a tragic story, and I think both are destined for bigger things – because I can’t explain any other way how they could be alive,” JB Katz, Carter’s attorney said, adding that it was a long sentence but “not without justification.”
Prosecutor Anne Francis said she was “pleased” with the sentence, which was greater than the 16 years the District Attorney’s office had requested. The second-degree attempted murder sentence also includes about $124,000 in restitution.
Carter also faces felony cocaine charges in California, and he was on bond when the stabbing occurred. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of drunken driving in Summit County from an incident that occurred shortly before the stabbing. He had been on bond for that charge as well.
Ruckriegle sentenced Carter to one year of incarceration for the drunken driving – with a prior offense – charge. The sentence is to run concurrent with the felony sentence.
The victim spoke before the court Tuesday, offering to take some responsibility for the stabbing. She asked Ruckriegle to give Carter the minimum sentence.
“I should have never been an enabler,” she said as she explained problems both she and Carter faced with drugs and alcohol.
Operations on the victim after the stabbing resulted in removal of a portion of her left lung, repair to a sliced diaphragm, removal of a breast implant, repair to a small cut in her bowel and repair of a knife wound through her left thumb.
“I completely forgive Steve for his actions. I still love him very much,” she said Tuesday.
Ruckriegle said during the sentencing he could find no way to blame the victim for what occurred.
Several of Carter’s family members spoke Tuesday on the role alcohol has played in his criminal history of mostly misdemeanors.
As requested by the victim, Ruckriegle on Tuesday vacated a protective order that had prevented contact between Carter and the victim. He said it was only the second time that had ever been requested in his 25 years on the bench.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or email@example.com.