A 34-year-old Kauai man was sentenced today to 20 years’ imprisonment in the December 2015 stabbing of his 28-week pregnant girlfriend in the abdomen.
Kauai Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano sentenced Christopher Cruz of Eleele for the Dec. 6, 2015, stabbing that resulted in the death of her child, who was born alive, but died 31 minutes later.
Cruz pleaded no contest in September to the lesser crime of attempted manslaughter, a Class A felony, and reckless endangering in the second degree, a misdemeanor.
Cruz initially was charged with second-degree attempted murder.
The two were arguing in the Ace Hardware parking lot in Eleele over traffic citations Cruz received just before the stabbing occurred. The young woman had hidden Cruz’s keys because she did not want him to drive angry, police said.
Police said the then-18-year-old mother received a puncture wound to the abdomen, lost a lot of blood and required an emergency cesarean section.
Cruz was holding their 2-year-old daughter when he stabbed her mother.
“Prison is the only sentence sufficient to protect the community from this defendant,” Kauai County Prosecutor Justin Kollar said in a written statement. “This crime was shocking in its depravity.”
Kollar praised police Detective Christian Jenkins’ outstanding investigation and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn for putting together a case that led to a successful result.
“Our thoughts are with the victim, and with the child who died as a result of this crime,” Kollar said.