A 56-year-old man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his wife in their Bloomington home just two weeks ago.
John Lawler, 56, entered the guilty plea in Hennepin County on Aug. 20 to second-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 4 stabbing death of his wife, 47-year-old Darla M. King.
Lawler will be sentenced Oct. 4, when the prosecution and defense attorneys will argue over the length of sentence. A term ranging from 25½ to 30½ is expected, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, with the first two-thirds served in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Under questioning during his plea hearing, Lawler acknowledged that King did nothing that would have justified him stabbing her.
Lawler’s criminal history includes domestic incidents from 2015 and 2018, the criminal complaint filed in King’s murder noted.
According to prosecutors:
Officers located King dead on the kitchen floor. She was stabbed four times and had defensive wounds to her hands and injuries to her face.
Earlier that evening, Lawler brought King home from work. King told her son, 23-year-old Brandyn Sventek, that she was not getting along with Lawler that day. About 11 p.m., Sventek heard Lawler and King shouting at each other.
The son went into the kitchen, saw his mother on the floor bleeding, and he hit Lawler twice before calling 911. Sventek asked Lawler what happened and received no response.