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Minnesota man sentenced to nearly 37 years for wife's murder

Ryan Jazdzewski told police he "lost it" and "just started stabbing" Nicole Jazdzewski during a June argument, according to court documents.

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Ryan Richard Jazdzewski
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DULUTH -- A Duluth man was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 37 years in prison for fatally stabbing his wife during an argument that came hours after she told him she wanted a divorce.

Ryan Richard Jazdzewski, 40, pleaded guilty in January to intentional second-degree murder in the slaying of 41-year-old Nicole Ann Jazdzewski.

The defendant admitted to stabbing his wife after a verbal altercation turned physical at the couple's home June 2. According to court documents, Nicole Jazdzewski had informed her husband earlier that day that she wanted a divorce.

The 440-month sentence imposed by 6th Judicial District Judge Theresa Neo is more than 11 years beyond the term called for in state sentencing guidelines. Jazdzewski admitted at his plea hearing that there were two aggravating factors in the case: the presence of the couple's children and particular cruelty to the victim.

According to court records, Jazdzewski told police he "lost it" and "just started stabbing" his wife during the incident. Duluth police responded to the couple's home after it was reported that their 7-year-old daughter was covered in blood and asking for help.

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Officers said they entered the residence and found Nicole Jazdzewski lying on her back in the kitchen. She appeared to have suffered multiple stab wounds to the torso, and there was a "large amount of blood" throughout the kitchen, according to a criminal complaint.

In a hospital interview, Ryan Jazdzewski detailed the incident to investigators, stating: "I killed her." He said he had spent most of the day drinking beer, doing artwork and playing with their kids while ignoring Nicole after she told him she wanted a divorce.

The defendant told police that he was preparing to go to bed when they got into a verbal argument, according to the complaint. The incident "escalated," he reported, and Nicole grabbed a kitchen knife for self-defense.

Ryan Jazdzewski stated he didn't believe his wife was going to use the knife, but he took it from her to prevent her from calling 911. He acknowledged stabbing his wife approximately 10 or 12 times, stopping only when the 7-year-old told him, "Don't kill Mom," according to the complaint.

Nicole "Nikki" Jazdzewski was a registered nurse and mother of three young children. She graduated from Bemidji High School in 1995 and later earned degrees from Lake Superior College and the College of St. Scholastica, according to her obituary.

She began her professional career at Essentia Health and worked throughout the United States for two years as a traveling nurse, according to the obit. She had worked at St. Luke's since 2009, starting in the cardiac unit and later transferring to the intensive care unit.

The victim's father, Kenneth Hovland, said at the plea hearing that he was "disappointed" in the resolution, telling the judge he had not been provided sufficient information to believe that second-degree murder was the appropriate charge.

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Ryan Richard Jazdzewski

Related Topics: CRIME
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