A St. Paul woman was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for fatally stabbing her fiancée in May.

Sherry A. Henderson, 48, tearfully apologized to her family and the family of the victim, Addison Hillard, at her sentencing in Ramsey County District Court.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without him,” Henderson said. “I never meant to hurt him. He’s a good man with a big heart.”

Henderson pleaded guilty in October to second-degree unintentional murder for killing Hillard, whom she described as her fiancée.

She stabbed him with a knife after arguing with him about a female friend the couple had just entertained in their St. Paul apartment.

Henderson testified in October that the three of them had been drinking beer and vodka. After the friend left, Henderson and Hillard argued about allowing the woman inside their home, which led to Hillard’s stabbing.

Henderson slept next to Hillard’s body and had someone else later call police.

She testified that she was “really intoxicated” and could only remember the events leading up to and following the stabbing.

Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Elizabeth Lamin said Thursday that Henderson had a history of abusing alcohol and becoming violent when she drank.

“It was unnecessary, unjustified and a tragedy,” Lamin said of the murder.

Hillard’s stepdaughter, Sherry Richards, gave a victim-impact statement before Henderson’s sentencing.

“I wish he was still here,” Richards said.

Henderson’s attorney, Cullin Smith, told the court that Henderson had taken responsibility for her actions and plans never to drink again.

“There have been many people in her life who treated her poorly,” Smith said. “[Hillard] is not one of them.”

CHAO XIONG