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57-year-old sentenced to 15 years in stabbing of UVa-Wise students

Stephen Igo • Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 8:56 AM

WISE — A 57-year-old Wise man was sentenced in Wise County Circuit Court on Thursday to serve 15 years of a 30 year sentence, with 15 years suspended, for the 2016 stabbing of two college students.

On March 1, Ricky Lynn Hamilton entered a plea under the Alford rule — not admitting guilt but acknowledging that a conviction was probable based on the evidence — without a plea agreement in place prior to the plea.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2016, authorities say, Hamilton left his residence and walked to a neighboring property with a knife to confront a group of University of Virginia’s College at Wise students. Hamilton complained that someone drove across his property.

Authorities say Hamilton kicked a trash can, drew his knife and cut two of the students without provocation. The victims sustained injuries to the face, neck and chest.

“This was a senseless, unprovoked, unexplainable and unthinkable act of violence,” said Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp. “Mr. Hamilton viciously attacked two innocent young men during a fit of rage. We are thankful their lives were spared, and we hope today’s sentence will begin the process of providing the victims with healing and closure.”

After serving his prison sentence, Hamilton must also successfully complete 15 years of probation.

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