Bradenton man charged in stabbing wife of death attends hearing

jdeleon@bradenton.comJuly 25, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A man accused of stabbing his wife to death was in court Thursday before a Manatee County judge.

Sean Mudgett, 41, appeared before Judge Peter Dubensky at a case management hearing.

His wife, Karen Mudgett, was stabbed several times in her upper torso May 15 in their home in the 2000 block of St. George Drive East.

The hearing was the first time Mudgett's public defender, Carolyn Schlemmer, appeared in court on the case. She told the judge she is not ready for a trial date.

"I've discussed it with Mr. (Brian) Iten and Mr. Mudgett and he is going to waive his right to a speedy trial," Schlemmer said.

Dubensky urged scheduling the case for next year, even if only tentatively, giving attorneys adequate time to prepare.

"Why don't we put it on for February and see where you are six months from now?" said Dubensky.

Schlemmer and Assistant State Attorney Iten agreed and the trial was set for March 3 with a Feb. 19 docket sounding hearing.

Mudgett is being held without bond at the Manatee County Jail.

Mudgett's mother made the 911 call the night of the stabbing.

"Help, I need the police immediately," she told the operator. "My son is trying to kill his wife. Get here now."

Mudgett's mother told the Emergency Communications Control operator her son was stabbing his wife as she also shouted to him: "Sean get away from her."

"Hurry, hurry. They are on their way, Karen," she said. "Get away from her, Sean."

Police and Manatee Emergency Medical Services officers were dispatched and questioned Mudgett's mother about what had happen.

"I'm not sure but he has been freaking out," she said.

"He's losing his mind, I think. I think he is having a breakdown."

Within moments on the emergency call, police can be heard beating down the door. Police reported seeing Mudgett stabbing himself upon entering the home.

Operators remained on the line until the mother was in the presence of a police officer.

The husband and wife were each taken to a local hospital where Karen Mudgett was pronounced dead. Sean Mudgett was hospitalized for days before being arrested and jailed upon release.

Karen Mudgett's death was the county's fourth of seven homicides so far this year. The case was handled by the Manatee County Homicide Investigative Unit.

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