PENTICTON —; A Princeton man responsible for a vicious stabbing that took place outside a fast food restaurant two years ago has pleaded guilty to some of the charges on Tuesday.
James Ronald Buhler, 54, pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault charge involving his estranged wife, Lydia Buhler.
The court heard how the pair had separated for a few months and Buhler allegedly sent Lydia threatening text messages. Shortly after, he was prohibited from contacting her.
But Buhler had important mail that Lydia needed, so the pair met at the parking lot of Dairy Queen on February 26, 2014.
Buhler tried to convince Lydia to move back with him, when she refused, the pair started to argue. The dispute quickly escalated into a violent attack.
Buhler had three knives on him and used a knife with a 10-inch blade to assault Lydia.
Lydia suffered four stab wounds to her chest and six lacerations, some as long as 10 centimeters, causing her to require extensive medical treatment.
“My life has been hell. I was a caring, compassionate, loving woman before this. Now I am a shell of what I used to be,” sobbed Lydia as she read her victim impact statement.
His daughter, Amanda Buhler, drove Lydia to the meeting place and witnessed the attack.
She leapt into action, grabbing the blade of the knife out of her father’s grip. As a result, she suffered extensive injuries to her right hand.
“”There isn’t one minute of the day when I’m not in pain. The pain is so excruciating the pain killers cannot diffuse the pain I have,” she told the court, reading from a victim impact statement she wrote shortly after the attack.
Buhler pleaded not guilty to an aggravated assault charge involving his daughter. Instead, he pleaded guilty to unlawfully causing bodily harm to Amanda.
Immediately after the attack, he attempted to take his own life and began slicing his throat but was stopped by RCMP.
Since then, he has been in custody for the past 26 months.
“I am so in fear of my life when he gets out. He will find me and finish the job,” said Lydia. “I don’t feel safe at all. This is what this man has done to me. He has destroyed my life.”
Buhler was also charged with attempting to murder Lydia, but that charge was stayed.
Buhler is expected to be sentenced at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday.