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County man pleads guilty to stabbing his wife

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By John Barnhart

    Kenneth Ray Fitzgerald, a 56-year-old Bedford County man, will spend the next five years in prison for stabbing his wife last year. He pleaded guilty, Tuesday morning in Bedford County Circuit Court, to possession of a firearm by a felon and malicious wounding.

    According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Wheelock, Fitzgerald and his wife were headed for divorce. An argument broke out between the two on Oct. 12 about the tax issues involved.
    Wheelock said that Fitzgerald was drunk at the time and, when his wife tried to leave their home’s kitchen where the argument was taking place, Fitzgerald stabbed her in the chest with a knife. While she fled the house, Fitzgerald went into the bathroom and cut his wrists. That’s where deputies, called to the scene, found him. He told them he wanted to die.
    Fitzgerald’s wife survived the stabbing, although treating the injury required major surgery.
    “It’s a wonder she wasn’t killed,” Wheelock said.
    Wheelock said that a neighbor found her in front to the house, lying on her back and bleeding profusely, her clothes soaked in blood.
    “She basically bled through three layers of clothing,” Wheelock said.
    He said that the neighbor kept pressure on the wound to slow the bleeding until an ambulance arrived.
    “There was no self-defense claim that was supported by any evidence at all,” Wheelock said.
    Judge James Updike sentenced Fitzgerald according to the terms of a plea agreement that Fitzgerald’s defense attorney, Joseph Sanzone, reached with Wheelock. He sentenced Fitzgerald to a total of 15 years in prison, suspended after Fitzgerald serves five years. Fitzgerald  will be on three years of supervised probation after his release and must be on good behavior for 10 years. He is barred from either direct or indirect contact with his ex-wife.