Drew Bucholtz was sentenced Thursday, April 24, to seven years prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend outside the Marriot Hotel in Pewaukee last July.
Bucholtz, 23, will also serve eight years extended supervision following his release from prison. He will be required to maintain absolute sobriety, undergo counseling, and maintain employment or school upon his release. He was also ordered to pay $5,864 in fines.
Bucholtz was charged last July with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, felony intimidation of a victim and misdemeanor theft after stabbing Miranda Hager in the throat on July 8.
He pleaded guilty to a lesser sentence of first-degree reckless injury on Feb. 6 through a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Bucholtz and Hager met outside the Marriot Hotel in Pewaukee and talked for 10 minutes before Bucholtz asked his ex-girlfriend to close her eyes because he had a surprise for her. He then stabbed her in the throat with a 6- to 8-inch long kitchen knife.
He fled after Hager sought treatment and was arrested two days later by Milwaukee Police at an apartment on Milwaukee’s Eastside. According to a news release, he stabbed himself in the chest with a knife before police were able to place him under arrest.
Hager survived and described to Judge William Carter at the sentencing hearing the impact Bucholtz’s action has had on her.
“My sense of trust, love, respect and self-worth have been ruined,” she said. “My sense of safety has been lost; I am always looking around me.”
She told the judge that she was afraid of knives, had trouble in school and slept in her mother’s bed most nights. Her therapist said she suffered from symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
“Drew’s own words, ‘I will come find you and kill you,’ keeps running through my mind,” she said. “He lives by the tattoo on his back: doubt me and then watch me.”
She asked the judge to sentence Bucholtz to the maximum sentence for first-degree reckless injury: 20 years of prison and parole.
The courtroom was packed with friends and family supportive of both Bucholtz and Hager. Several deputies stood watch over the proceedings to maintain order.
Bucholtz cried throughout most of the proceeding and struggled to read his statement to the court.
“I would mostly like to say I am sorry to Miranda,” he said. “You did not deserve the pain I caused you. I sit in my cell and pray that you are OK. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Bucholtz’s mother, Ann Marie, said she believed that her son’s history of mental illness was to blame.
“I have been a domestic engineer my whole life,” she said. “What happened? I am here today, why am I here today?”
She said Hager was a “lovely girl” and she was apologized on behalf of her son.
Attorney Paul Bucher represented Bucholtz. He said that various pressures in his life - alcohol, marijuana, family tensions - caused Bucholtz to snap.
“I wish I could give a reason why,” Bucher said. “Why would you stab her, why would you tell her to close her eyes. I don’t know why, but the only thing I can come up with is that he had nowhere to go.”
Assistant District Attorney Pablo Galaviz Jr. said he believed Bucholtz’s intention was to kill Hager.
“Could I convince a jury of that? Possibly, but I believe that when he left in his car on that date, July 8, he said, ‘If I can’t have her, nobody can,” he said.
Carter said in determining the sentence that Hager had reason to be afraid of Bucholtz.
“Anyone who looks at your conduct would be frightened by what you could do,” he said.
Carter said, however, that the case did not warrant a maximum sentence.
“I understand Miranda’s and her family’s concerns about being protected from you,” he said. “However, nothing this court could do would protect Miranda forever.”