A 63-year-old Illinois man will spend a decade behind bars for nearly killing his wife four years ago, using a kitchen knife to stab her in the chest and arm after becoming angry about their recent separation.
Will County Circuit Judge John Conner on Thursday ordered Patrick O’Brien to serve a sentence of 10 years in a state correctional facility for the brutal crime, authorities announced.
The sentencing came after O’Brien was found guilty on one count of fist-degree attempted murder and one count of aggravated domestic battery following a bench trial. Conner credited O’Brien with 38 days already served.
According to a news release from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, officers with the Naperville Police Department responded on the night of Dec. 21, 2019, to a 911 call regarding reports of a man who had stabbed a woman outside of a residence in the 2200 block of Popple Court, about 35 miles southwest of Chicago.
The attack was captured on film by a neighbor’s home surveillance system.
Authorities said O’Brien and his wife had been separated when he returned to their house on Popple Court to retrieve personal items. While his wife was in the kitchen, O’Brien “grabbed a large kitchen knife” and then said to his wife, “If we’re done, then we’re done,” before going after her with the weapon.
“The victim ran out of the house to the rear patio door of her neighbor’s home, screaming for them to open the door. Running toward her with the knife, O’Brien yelled, ‘you’re faster than I thought’ and pushed her against the rear wall of the neighbor’s residence,” prosecutors wrote in the release. “As the victim held her hands up in an attempt to fend off the knife, O’Brien thrust it into her chest area and arm while yelling an expletive at her. The neighbor was able to open his door just in time to throw O’Brien down to the ground and prevent him from continuing to stab his wife.”
Prosecutors said O’Brien still had a hold on his wife and pulled her down to the ground with him. He then stabbed himself at least once before throwing the knife.
Police arrived a short while later and took O’Brien into custody.
“The brutal attack shown in graphic detail on the home surveillance system captures the gruesome savagery of the attack by a controlling man who decided that if the marriage was over, then his wife should die. There is no question that the neighbor’s miraculous intervention saved Mrs. O’Brien’s life,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement following the sentencing. “This case bears out the stark reality in domestic violence that the most dangerous time for a survivor is when they leave their partner. Seventy-five percent of domestic violence homicides occur when the victim has left the relationship. Domestic violence is about control and power, and this harrowing near-deadly assault was the attempt at exerting ultimate control.”
Due to the violent nature of his crime, O’Brien is required to serve 85% of his sentence before he will first become eligible for parole. Following his release, he will be required to serve a mandatory three years of probation.