Man Gets 100 Years for Pregnant Wife's Slaying

Eric Gilford stabbed his estranged wife in front of her 4-year-old daughter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Eric Gilford, 32, was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

    A Navy recruiter from Downers Grove who stabbed his pregnant wife to death in front of her 4-year-old daughter was sentenced on Wednesday to 100 years in prison.

    DuPage County Judge Kathryn Creswell sentenced Eric Gilford, 32, to 50 years for first-degree murder in the slaying of his estranged wife Kristine Gilford, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He received another 50 years for intentional homicide of an unborn child, and Creswell ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.

    Kristine Gilford, 35, was about 20 weeks pregnant with their son when she was murdered on May 26, 2010.

    Authorities said Eric Gilford tracked down his wife at a Villa Park apartment after she left him, forced his way inside, then stabbed her 16 times with a hunting knife while her daughter, Gracie, watched.

    A neighbor alerted police after she saw the child wandering the apartment hall soaked in the blood of her mother, who lived long enough to identify her husband as the attacker.

    Gilford fled the state and was on the run for two months until he was arrested in Wyoming in August 2010.

    He offered a brief apology for the killings last week.

    "I think about what happened every day, and every day I want to go back and change it, but I can't. I'm sorry," said Gilford, who pleaded guilty to the charges in June.

    In handing down the sentence, Creswell noted the crime occurred in front of Kristine Gilford's then 4-year-old daughter, Gracie.

    "It is impossible to imagine the anguish this young mother felt as she gasped for her last breath as her 4-year-old daughter looked on," Creswell said. "For the rest of her life, each birthday will be a sad anniversary of her mother's death."