Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman sentenced LaBryant McClendon to serve eight years in state prison for stabbing his wife in the neck while she was asleep in a living room love seat.
McClendon, who is confined to a wheelchair, said he had become addicted to drugs and alcohol and that led to the incident on June 5, 2011, at the Thrippence Apartments in East Ridge.
His wife, Temesha, said they had married July 15, 2010, after meeting on the Internet. McClendon is originally from York County, Pennsylvania, then he moved to Nashville and then Chattanooga.
She said they were living at the Thrippence along with her 16-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son at the time. The son was away when the incident happened, but the daughter was upstairs asleep.
Ms. McClendon said a short time earlier McClendon had read text messages on her phone to another man that she was seeing. She said she stated on the texts that she was not happy with McClendon.
She said they argued about the text messages, but she apologized "and we were working through it."
The witness said on the day of the stabbing there were no problems and McClendon had grilled chicken for them. She said he was outside when she went to sleep.
She awoke to find him stabbing her with a steak knife. She said the wounds caused a lung to collapse, pierced her trachea and paralyzed her right vocal cord.
Ms. McClendon said she struggled with him and he fell from his wheelchair. He was found by police at the base of a window after somehow getting over to the window and climbing out.
It was testified that McClendon had a debilitating spinal injury connected to being shot in the leg. He had tried several times to commit suicide, it was stated.
Lance Pope prosecuted the case and Mary Ann Green represented the defendant.