Before he is locked away for life, Egan Atkins had one final insult for the family of Nicole Williams: he tried to justify stabbing his ex-wife to death.
"There is so much you don't understand. There's a lot of stuff you don't know. A lot of things were going on at that house but I didn't tell you everything…you don't even know how much I loved that woman," he said.
Williams' young son poured his tears into both hands as the defendant spoke.
Atkins words were hard to stomach.
"I hold no animosity against y'all. Y'all my family. I love y'all. Forgive me ‘cause I might not be able to forgive myself, " he said.
In a last minute deal to avoid the death penalty, Atkins pleaded guilty to stabbing his ex-wife to death in July of 2011.
Prosecutors say he broke into her home while she slept next to her boyfriend.
Hillsborough County Assistant State Attorney Ron Gale explained the details to the judge.
"He observed the defendant standing over Ms. Williams as she slept in bed next to him with a knife and he was stabbing her," Gale said.
A heart beat away from death, the mother of three called her mother.
She wrote about it in a letter, which the Gale read to the court.
"In her last words, were to take care of her children, then I heard her take her last breath. That's how much she loved her children, " Gale read.
Williams' father Al Sallett told the judge there is no closure; they just cope with the enormous pain.
"I know that God is real because I didn't never think that I would be able to have the strength to continue on," Sallett said. "I know that one day, my Christian belief is that I will see my daughter again."
Atkins will now spend the rest of his life in prison.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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