Authorities claimed James Polachek was trying to cover up his crime when he stabbed himself after first stabbing his wife in their Arlington Heights home last year.
That wasn't the case at all, said Assistant Public Defender Larry Kugler of his client, who pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery Wednesday in a Rolling Meadows courtroom.
Polachek was trying to die, said Kugler.
Stabbing himself in the throat and the stomach was "an immediate reaction to the realization of what he had done," Kugler said.
In exchange for pleading guilty, Polachek, 52, received eight years in prison with credit for 359 days served. He will have to complete at least 85 percent of his sentence, Kugler said. The court also imposed a two-year order of protection upon Polachek following his release.
Police arrested Polachek last May after he stabbed his wife in the back during a fight at their home in the 400 block of Miner Street. As his wife crawled to safety, Polachek "turned on himself," Kugler said.
A psychiatric evaluation last fall determined that Polachek, who suffers from depression, was fit to stand trial so long as he takes his medication.
A sentence for attempted murder ranges from six to 30 years. The state asked for 16 years, said Kugler. Polachek's wife requested a six-year sentence. The court cited the defendant's lack of criminal history and his wife's statement that he had been a good husband up until the attack in imposing the sentence, Kugler said.