WHEATON (CBS) -- A west suburban Downers Grove man pleaded guilty Friday to the stabbing death of his wife and unborn child last year.
Eric Gilford, 36, formerly of Downers Grove, entered the Villa Park residence of an acquaintance May 26, 2010, stabbed his pregnant wife, Kristine Gilford, and fled the scene, according to a release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's office.
Kristine's young daughter, who was celebrating her fourth birthday that day, witnessed the murder, the release said. The young girl was not hurt. Gilford, a member of the United States Navy, then fled the state.
Gilford was charged with the murder based upon evidence gathered at the crime scene by Villa Park police, according to the release. The United States Marshals Service and the United States Navy conducted a nation-wide man hunt for Gilford.
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On August 6, 2010, Gilford was apprehended by authorities in Jackson, Wyoming. At the time of his arrest, Gilford was residing at a local mission under an alias name. Following his extradition to Illinois, Gilford was ordered held without bond.
In exchange for Gilford's guilty plea, the state has agreed to cap its prison sentence recommendation at 140 years.
Gilford's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 9 for return of the pre-sentencing report, according to the release. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 16.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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