She sought a divorce and was stabbed more than a dozen times

An estranged Marysville husband allegedly attacked his wife after finding divorce documents.

MARYSVILLE — A Marysville man stabbed his wife more than a dozen times when she tried to divorce him, in what was “essentially an attempted murder,” a deputy prosecutor said Monday in court.

The woman, 30, survived the attack but remained in the hospital Monday with critical injuries. She was stabbed once in her head, once in her left arm and at least a dozen times in her upper back, according to a probable cause statement.

Speaking with a punctured lung, she described to police how her husband, Nathan Robert Bradford, almost killed her Friday night, the court papers said.

The couple had been living separately, but Bradford was visiting when he found divorce papers in her car, according to the court document. Both had been drinking.

She awoke when Bradford, 45, turned on her bedroom lights, according to a police summary of her account. Her phone was missing from under her pillow. Bradford reportedly tore up the papers as they argued downstairs. Their young children were at home sleeping. Bradford left. She messaged him over Facebook to ask for her phone. He returned, and smashed a Kindle Fire tablet she’d used to text him. He pulled out a knife with a black handle and a curved black blade, and told her he wanted to see her die, according to the woman’s report.

Bradford backed her into a corner and stabbed her in the left shoulder, she reported. She passed out. He kept stabbing her. She regained consciousness in the back seat of his Infiniti. He told her he decided to save her, but that he would kill himself.

He dropped her off at the hospital at 12:50 a.m.

At the house police found two boys asleep, unhurt. Blood covered the living room floor and walls, near ripped up paper.

An officer called Bradford at 3:15 a.m. He called back minutes later, to ask how his wife was doing, according to police. He told the officer he wanted to kill himself, and that he could never face his kids again after what he’d done. He hung up.

Four hours later a Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy found Bradford in his Infiniti SUV at a restaurant on Chuckanut Drive, about 40 miles north of Marysville. Tubes ran from the exhaust pipe into the car, an apparent suicide attempt.

Bradford was arrested and examined at a local hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. Officers booked Bradford into Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree domestic violence assault.

On Monday he appeared in a jail courtroom, with a shaved head, a long black beard and tattoos across his knuckles. His bail had been set over the weekend at $150,000.

Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui raised bail to $500,000, at the request of Lyndi Stone, a deputy prosecutor. Stone noted the severity of the injuries, including the wounded lung.

“Luckily,” Stone said, “there were not any other major arteries or organs that were struck.”

Bradford had no record of violent crimes. The couple was together for 10 years, and so far there’s no sign of any other domestic violence that had gone unreported, said Pooja Vaddadi, a public defender. Bradford lost his job last month, she added. He was supposed to start a new job this week.

If he posts bond, Bradford must see a mental health professional before he’s released.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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