An Illinois woman stabbed and killed her boyfriend on New Year’s Eve. Here’s how long she will spend behind bars.

Source: Mega; Mattoon Police Department

Sep. 13 2021, Published 2:25 p.m. ET

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They should have been in a celebrative mood. Instead, an Illinois woman stabbed her boyfriend to death on New year’s Eve.

She will now spend the next 15 New Year’s behind bars.

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Christian County Judge Brad T. Paisley handed Michaela L. Herpstreith a 15-year maximum prison sentence for the stabbing of her boyfriend Jason R. Bright. Herpstreith pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after changing her initial plea of not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.

On Dec. 31, 2019, Taylorville police responded to the 1000 Block of East Adams Street after receiving a distress call. Upon arriving at the scene, Bright was found in a large blood pool, bleeding heavily from a single stab wound to his chest. The 40-year-old victim told the police officers who had attempted to initiate a first aid, it was Herpstreith who attacked him. At the time, the defendant had fled the scene.

Bright was later pronounced dead at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

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Based on a tip, Herpstreith was spotted the next day at the Hillcrest Trailer Park. When stopped by law enforcement, the defendant surrendered without incident, reported The Taylorville Daily News.


A spring-loaded knife was also found on her, and the weapon’s blade and the handle had traces of blood on it. During interrogation, the defendant admitted she stabbed the victim.

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According to Herald & Review, Herpstreith’s public defense lawyer intended on hiring a domestic violence expert to testify if the trial had proceeded. Nevertheless, prosecutors did not disclose why a plea deal with a reduced charge was agreed upon with the defendant.

Herpstreith had a criminal history, including a 2018 previous charge of criminal trespass. She had unlawfully gained entry into another residence and struck a female who lived there.

The 23-year-old defendant was credited with 605 days spent already at the Christian County jail pending her trial. Paisley also fined the defendant $1,000.


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