A 34-year-old man who repeatedly stabbed his pregnant wife in a drug-fueled rage was sentenced today to 7½ years in prison.
Last July 18, Brian Shaun Nickel used the hallucinogenic drug, ketamine. His wife, who was three months pregnant with their first child, told him she was leaving him because of his continued drug use. Nickel responded by choking his wife. He then pulled out a knife and slashed her in the neck, arms, elbow, leg and abdomen. She also suffered cuts and severed tendons in her hands as she attempted to defend herself.
She eventually was able to run from the house, in the 5400 block of Southeast 44th Avenue in Portland. She collapsed in the driveway.
Neighbors, including a nurse, Rebecca Grover, rushed to help her.
As police arrived, Nickel stood on the porch and yelled “I stabbed my wife!” He told police he tried to kill himself by shooting himself, but he couldn’t get the gun to work. He told police he also tried to cut his arm off, causing deep wounds.
Nickel was charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, strangulation and fourth-degree assault — all constituting domestic-violence. In December, he pleaded no contest in Multnomah County Circuit Court to first-degree assault.
At his sentencing hearing today, he apologized for what he’d done. Elaine Winn, who is now his ex-wife, didn’t attend the hearing.
Nickel was sentenced under Measure 11, meaning he must serve all 90 months. He also must pay about $4,000 in medical bills and wages lost by his ex-wife.
Prosecutor Amy Holmes Hehn said Winn gave birth to a healthy boy in January. Winn has mostly recovered, although she has difficulty using her hands and probably will for the rest of her life, the prosecutor said.
Ketamine, also known as “Special K,” is an animal tranquilizer that grew in popularity at clubs, raves and other parties.