Man sentenced to five years for stabbing ex-girlfriend — (The Post Independent)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Celexa drinks, stabs girlfriend, claims he lost his mind and cannot explain why he did it.

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The Post Independent

Pete Fowler

June 8, 2007

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado – Victor Pimental said he ‘lost his mind’ that night and takes full responsibility for his actions.

Victor Pimental received a five-year prison sentence Thursday and must pay $27,529 in restitution for stabbing his ex-girlfriend at a Grand Avenue bus stop near Safeway in Glenwood Springs.

“My heart goes out to her,” he said with a shaky voice. “I don’t know what happened that night. I don’t know why …”

Pimental, 54, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault as part of a plea agreement. He also originally faced charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and felony menacing charges.

He said he takes full responsibility for his actions, that he’s an alcoholic and depressed. He said he’s been sober for six months and hopes to make better decisions through rehabilitation.

“He was taking Celexa,” Pimental’s attorney, public defender Garth McCarty said. “Which does cause some problems, especially when mixed with alcohol.”

McCarty said some of the drug’s side effects include manic depression, hallucinations and paranoia. He described the attack as a “complete mental or nervous breakdown” for Pimental. He added that head injuries to Pimental’s frontal lobe could have affected Pimental’s judgment.

Celexa is a brand name for Citalopram, commonly prescribed for depression.

Pimental’s brother spoke on his behalf.

“I traveled 800 miles to be here,” he said. “He is a great brother. He made some bad choices, and his injuries may explain why he couldn’t stay on the right track.”

He also mentioned unfortunate circumstances with family that caused great stress and led Pimental to drink. He said he hoped Pimental would be out of jail before their mother died.

“I can’t see her going to her grave and not knowing her son’s out of prison,” he said.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Denise Lynch said Pimental stabbed his ex-girlfriend once in the back and once in the arm. The attack severed a radial nerve and caused permanent injury and a partial loss of movement in the woman’s left arm, she added.

Lynch said she doesn’t doubt that head injuries may have been a factor and that Pimental had a rough life.

“But I can’t ignore the fact that this is a very serious crime,” Lynch said.

Pimental will remain in the Garfield County Jail before being sent to a Department of Corrections facility. He’s awaiting resolution of two DUI cases and a domestic violence case in the county.

Pimental was arrested on Dec. 11. Police said he contacted the victim on her cell phone as she waited at the bus stop on Grand Avenue near Safeway early in the morning. While she was on the phone, Pimental crossed the street and approached her from behind, pulled a knife and stabbed her. She managed to get away and ran into the store where she called police.

“I wake up every morning and go to bed every night and say a prayer for her,” Pimental said before sentencing.

Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO