BLOOMINGTON - Gregory Smith was sentenced to two decades in prison Friday for stabbing his wife, a crime he may have committed during an alcoholic haze.
Smith, 42, was convicted in April of attempted murder in the Oct. 29 stabbing of his wife in the couple's home in the 800 block of East Monroe Street. Judge Scott Drazewski noted "longstanding alcohol and/or substance abuse problems," beginning in the 1980s during Smith's military service.
The judge said Smith's judgment may have been clouded by alcohol when he leaned over Rose Smith and stabbed her twice in the chest and once in the abdomen.
In a statement to the court, Smith said he loved his wife. "There's nothing I wouldn't do for her," he said.
Smith's father, Greg Smith Sr., said after the sentencing that he believes his son is innocent and did not receive a fair trial. Testimony during the trial included contradictions from the witness stand, the elder Smith said.
"The victim herself made three contradictory statements. A person who was in the same room with her thought he (Gregory Smith) was hugging her," Smith's father said.
"My son is not prone to violence. He's never attacked anyone," he said.
Prosecutor Matt Lee told the court that Rose Smith has suffered lasting emotional trauma because of the incident. He said Smith pretended to kiss his wife and "instead he plunged a knife into her several times."
The state sought a sentence of 30 years, the maximum allowed for the Class X felony. Smith must serve 85 percent of his 20-year term and pay $27,000 in restitution.
Defense attorney Ron Lewis asked the court to ignore the unrealized, more serious outcome that could have resulted from Smith's actions.
"We're not here to punish the what-ifs - we're here to punish for what has happened," Lewis said.
Lewis said after the sentencing that Smith intends to file an appeal in the case.