Man stabbed teacher to deathBill Eagleman, the Devils Lake man charged with stabbing to death a longtime English teacher at the North Dakota School for the Deaf, changed his plea to guilty Tuesday in court during a pre-trial hearing.
By: The Dickinson Press, Worthington Daily Globe
Bill Eagleman, the Devils Lake man charged with stabbing to death a longtime English teacher at the North Dakota School for the Deaf, changed his plea to guilty Tuesday in court during a pre-trial hearing.
Saying he was drunk at the time, and sorry now for what he did, Eagleman agreed to a plea deal that could mean life in prison with the chance of parole, a spokeswoman for Ramsey County States Attorney Lonnie Olson said.
At the sentencing hearing scheduled for Feb. 3 in state district court in Devils Lake, a judge could deviate from that deal, and Eagleman’s defense attorney, Scott Thompson, is expected to argue for a lesser sentence.
Paula Hartze, 43, was found stabbed to death in her home March 1. Eagleman, 27, an acquaintance of Hartze was arrested and charged with a Class AA murder. In July, he pleaded not guilty and his trial was scheduled to begin next month. He had remained in jail on a $500,000 bond.
Hartze taught English at the state School for the Deaf for 13 years.
Hartze and Eagleman family members attended the hearing.
Hartze’s grew up in Dickinson and her mother, Joan Skabo, said the family received a bit of closure from the guilty plea and would like to thank the people of Dickinson for their support over the last 10 months.
In an apology read by his attorney, Eagleman said being drunk at the time was not an excuse.