Woman Who Stabbed Man in Williamsburg Hotel Sentenced for Lesser Charge

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Sandra Holder Reece (Photo courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Sandra Holder Reece (Photo courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A woman was sentenced Friday for misdemeanor assault and battery after she “took manners into her own hands” and stabbed a man who she said was bothering her and had previously assaulted her.

Sandra Holder Reece, 55, was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all but 15 days suspended for stabbing Robert Demnicki — with whom she lived at the Country Hearth Inn on Capitol Landing Road — when they were both intoxicated.

Reece, who has been sober for almost a year, was assaulted by Demnicki in November 2013 and suffered “significant injuries,” according to her attorney Gordon Klugh.

Demnicki faced criminal charges but was acquitted when a witness lied on the stand after being promised a “crack rock” from Demnicki, Reece said.

She testified Demnicki would continue to bother her after his acquittal, often peering into her window and scaring her from behind.

On May 1, 2014, after drinking a half of a fifth of liquor, Reece “took matters into her own hands” when Demnicki crept up behind her and stabbed him in the forearm, bicep and chest with a kitchen knife, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Gaten said.

Gaten said Demnicki was also intoxicated at the time. He said after the incident, Demnicki would call him while seemingly intoxicated on multiple occasions.

Reece has since moved out of the hotel, spending time in Toano before moving into the Pineapple Inn on Richmond Road. She has completed counseling and attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“She’s heading in the right direction. Mr. Demnicki is not,” Klugh said.

He asked Circuit Court Judge Michael McGinty to reduce her felony malicious wounding charge to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge, and McGinty complied after stressing he was “not endorsing vigilantes.”

He said “given the circumstances” of the situation, her age and her lack of criminal history, he did not think she deserved a felony charge on her record.

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