- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A Tampa Bay area man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing his ex-wife.

As part of a deal with Hillsborough County prosecutors to avoid the death penalty, 36-year-old Egan Fernando Atkins pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder.

Authorities say Atkins broke into the Gibsonton home of Nicole Williams in July 2011. Williams was sleeping next to her boyfriend when Atkins - with a knife he had grabbed from the kitchen - began stabbing Williams multiple times. The boyfriend woke up during the attack, and Atkins fled.

Atkins was on the run for more than a day before he was finally captured at a relative’s home.

Williams three children were also home during the attack.

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