ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A man who cut off his estranged wife’s thumb in an apparent murder-suicide attempt has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

William Cleveland Ward II, 45, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder last week and was sentenced Tuesday.

Prosecutors said on Jan. 8, Ward’s wife was picking up their three children at Ward’s Brooklyn Park home. Authorities said Ward called his wife into a bedroom, then padlocked the door and pulled a 6-inch knife from under the bed.

According to The Annapolis Capital, prosecutors say Ward cut off his wife’s right thumb when she put her hand up to deflect the attack. The couple’s teenage son heard his mother’s screams, broke down the door and pulled Ward off his wife.

Ward’s wife had surgery to reattach her thumb.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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