Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder in Ex-Wife’s Stabbing

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A New Lexington man has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the stabbing of his former wife in March at her Glouster area residence and could spend the next few decades of his life in prison.

Frederick Craig Jr., 53, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder, two counts each of felonious assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, and one count each of tampering with evidence and domestic violence.

Craig faces up to 74 years, 6 months when he is sentenced later this month according to court documents, although Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn stating that the actual maximum sentence is closer to 35 years after some of the counts merge.

Although the parties in the case came to a plea agreement on the charges, sentencing will be argued at a separate hearing.

Blackburn could not say specifically what the prosecution would argue for at sentencing, but said it would be more than 10 years, but less than 35.

With no mandatory prison sentence, the defense could argue for community control although there is a presumption of prison time due to some of the crimes being first-degree felonies.

A second count of attempted murder was dismissed due to case law. Since there is only one victim in the case, Blackburn stated, Craig could have only been sentenced on one count of attempted murder regardless.

Craig stabbed Julie Nott (aka Julie Craig), who sustained wounds to her chest, abdomen and hand during the incident. He stabbed her at least three times as well as hiding the knife used the incident. Officials claim Craig put the knife in a bag of dog food so that it could not be discovered, according to the criminal complaints filed. He then tried to take Nott’s ring and money.

The plea agreement came just days before Craig was scheduled for a jury trial on June 9.

Blackburn stated that once the evidence came back and was fairly straight forward Craig admitted his guilt although the parties could not agree on a sentence.

In addition to the charges from this case, Craig had a previously suspended 30-day jail sentence from Athens County Municipal Court imposed in April. That case involved a domestic violence charge against the same victim which was pleaded down to persistent disorderly conduct.

Because the municipal court case of domestic violence was pleaded to a lesser offense, the new domestic violence charge remains a misdemeanor. Had he had a previous conviction of domestic violence, the new charge could be levied as a felony.

Craig is scheduled to be sentenced on June 22. He remains in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $1 million bond.