- Associated Press - Saturday, November 14, 2015

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for stabbing his wife to death more than two years ago as their twin young daughters slept upstairs.

Walid Mitwalli, 38, entered the plea Friday in Montgomery County days before his trial was to begin. Authorities said he stabbed his wife, Mona, multiple times with a 14-inch carving knife in their Hatfield home in June 2013.

First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele called it “a terrible, terrible crime” and said he would seek a sentence of 15 to 40 years. He said the plea was acceptable to the family, who wanted the defendant to take responsibility for the slaying.

“It’s an incredibly tight-knit family and they are devastated by what happened,” he said.

Defense attorney John McMahon, who called the plea “the best of the possible bad outcomes” for his client, said Mitwalli has always maintained that his wife came at him with a knife first.

“He took the knife off her and, unfortunately, in kind of a heat of passion and frenzy, took her life,” McMahon said. As he was escorted away, Mitwalli said “There’s definitely remorse.”

Authorities said in a criminal complaint that the victim had told others before her death that her husband was “extremely jealous” and she believed he was “planning something.”

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