BANGOR, Maine — Horst Wolk, a German national who attacked his former wife with a knife at Husson University last year, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault, criminal threatening and violation of a protection order.
Wolk faced four criminal counts, the most serious of which was attempted murder, a Class A crime, and could have faced up to 50 years in prison, but received the lesser sentence Wednesday afternoon at the Penobscot Judicial Center as the result of a plea bargain worked out between defense attorney Joseph Baldacci and Penobscot County Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts.
Justice William Anderson approved the agreement, citing mitigating factors such as Wolk’s lack of a previous criminal record, the victim’s acceptance of the agreement, and Wolk’s possible psychological problems. After having Wolk affirm that he was pleading guilty because he was in fact guilty, Anderson imposed a sentence including the 10-year prison term for the assault, a five-year suspended sentence for violation of the protection order, and five years consecutive but suspended for the criminal threatening charge.
Wolk was quiet and respectful as he answered all of Anderson’s questions with “Yes, Your Honor” or “No, Your Honor,” and he entered a guilty plea with the aid of interpreter Jiri George Drobny.
Wolk’s ex-wife, 36, was present in the gallery with another woman for the sentencing but did not speak.
When asked if he wished to address the court before sentencing, Wolk stood and said, “I want to apologize to all the people I hurt, especially my wife and son.”
Horst and his former wife, who recently divorced after eight years of marriage, have a 7-year-old son together. Roberts informed Anderson that Horst’s former wife had agreed to terminate her protection order against Horst to make it easier for him to maintain regular contact with his son.
“I think he’s come a long way since the offense,” said Baldacci. “As I indicated in court, they have amicably divorced, she has dropped the protection order on her own initiative, and they’ve set up a program of visitation with the child once he’s in the Department of Corrections.”
Roberts asked that the visitation arrangement be subject to certain conditions, including that Wolk receive psychiatric counseling and follow-up evaluations. Baldacci had no objection and Anderson imposed those conditions.
“She wants to make sure that her son has a continuing relationship with his father because prior to this incident, he was doing much of the home care and raising of the child,” Baldacci said. “The mother has been very gracious in trying to work things out. I give her a lot of credit.”
Wolk and his ex-wife met while she was serving in the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany. She said in court documents that Wolk was a member of the German Army who was trained as a sniper. She also told police that he belonged to a movement in Germany which denies that the Holocaust took place.
She had previously testified that she was a victim of domestic abuse and that her ex-husband also had threatened to kill her while holding an unloaded gun to her head and pulling the trigger on March 4, 2010. She told police that he threatened to kill her and bury her body in a rural landfill somewhere in Penobscot County.
Wolk had faced a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and up to $80,000 in fines for all four counts.
Wolk also was given four years of probation, but as a German national with no U.S. citizenship or legal resident status, current law requires that he be deported to Germany as soon as he has served his prison sentence.