Public Safety

Iowa City man convicted of stabbing wife with broken piece of glass#xa0;#xa0;

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City man who stabbed his wife multiple times with a piece of broken glass last year pleaded guilty Friday to lesser charges and faces up to 12 years in prison.

Scott A. Bender, 49, made Alford pleas in Johnson County District Court to going armed with intent and willful injury, both felonies, and will make written guilty pleas at time of sentencing to child endangerment and domestic assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, both aggravated misdemeanors. An Alford plea is when a defendant maintains innocence but admits prosecutor has enough evidence to prove guilt.  

Sixth Judicial District Judge Paul Miller ran the misdemeanors, each punishable by two years, concurrently but ran the two years consecutively to the 10 years for the felonies — a total of 12 years. Sentencing is set for Nov. 2.

The stabbing happened during a “physical domestic abuse assault in November 2014 at their home,” according to a criminal complaint. The assault escalated when the woman fell into a broken window and Bender, armed with a piece of broken glass, got on top of her and began stabbing her multiple times. Authorities said Bender told his wife “You are dead.” The assault ended when the couple’s son tried to intervene.

Bender came within five centimeters of his wife’s carotid artery, the complaint stated. She also had multiple stab wounds to her body.

Bender was originally charged with attempted murder and then the charges were later amended.