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Man admits stabbing girlfriend

For the second time in two decades, Robert C. Crutcher III, pleaded guilty Monday to stabbing a live-in girlfriend. The first one died.

Crutcher, 37, entered the plea to first-degree assault for repeatedly stabbing Vivian Cardona last Dec. 8 in their Hopkins Street flat.

He had been paroled after spending 15 years behind bars for fatally stabbing 17-year-old Sherisse Woods, of Rother Street, another live-in girlfriend, in April 1991.

Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk told Crutcher on Monday that he faces another prison term of 15 or 16 years when he is sentenced Oct. 23 for the new attack.

Kristin A. St. Mary, chief of the district attorney's Domestic Violence Bureau, said Crutcher stabbed Cardona, 44, eight times with a utility knife, choked her into unconsciousness and threw her into a bathtub, but she eventually managed to call 911 for help.

When police arrived at about 1:45 a.m. Dec. 9 -- about two hours after the attack -- they arrested Crutcher after finding Cardona bleeding and looking fearful.

The prosecutor said Crutcher also had forced Cardona to swallow six painkillers and unsuccessfully tried to stop her from making the 911 call.

St. Mary said Crutcher fatally stabbed Woods after what neighbors described as a loud argument.

In that stabbing, the victim stumbled into the street, collapsed and died of a stab wound in the heart, St. Mary said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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