Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Saturday, October 26, 2013
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Knifer, 21, gets three years in prison

A California man pleaded guilty earlier this month to stabbing his aunt and uncle during a visit to Plantation Key in March.

Jacob Knapper, 21, will serve three years in prison followed by three years of probation. He entered his plea during an Oct. 8 hearing at the Plantation Key courthouse.

"It's a fair resolution," said Assistant State Attorney Demetrios Efstratiou. "It's a substantial prison term with probation to follow."

Knapper was originally charged with knifing his mother, Elke Herath, as well, but she declined to cooperate with prosecutors, Efstratiou said.

According to the arrest report, Knapper stabbed his mother, and Gene and Shellaine West after getting into an argument with Gene West. Herath and Shellaine West were wounded in the arm, while Gene West was stabbed in the stomach.

The court allowed Knapper to travel with Herath back to California after he bonded out of the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island. He returned to the Keys for the plea hearing.

Knapper pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Had he been convicted at trial, he could have served up to 30 years in prison.

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