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Madison man pleads guilty to attempted stabbing homicide of wife

Madison man pleads guilty to attempted stabbing homicide of wife


A Madison man pleaded guilty Friday to attempted first-degree intentional homicide for repeatedly stabbing his wife in March, nearly killing her, while she held their infant son.

Michael L. Wagner, 37, faces up to 60 years of combined prison and extended supervision when he is sentenced on July 31 by Dane County Circuit Judge Timothy Samuelson. Under a plea agreement, though, Assistant District Attorney Allison Cogbill said she will ask for no more than 15 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Wagner got into an argument with his wife March 15 at their home on Chester Drive, on Madison’s Southwest Side. He took her to the basement as she held their infant son, where Wagner’s mother and another of the couple’s children were already located, the complaint states.

She told police that Wagner then “snapped,” told her he was going to kill everyone in the house and began to stab her, as she held their son.

Wagner told her he was going to die that night, she told police, and didn’t stop stabbing her until his mother told him to stop, according to the complaint.

When police arrived later, the woman still had the handle of a knife protruding from her chest. Doctors told police that she would have died if not for medical intervention.

Wagner fled and was arrested about nine hours later in Fond du Lac County, walking away from a stolen pickup truck that had run out of gas. He admitted to police that he had stabbed his wife and cried with relief that he hadn’t killed her, according to the complaint.

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