FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A man who took hallucinogenic mushrooms before stabbing a woman in her home with a 10-inch knife, stealing her car and leaving her for dead has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
Brennan Doyle was sentenced Thursday to two concurrent 15-year prison terms on charges of attempted murder and carjacking in the 2013 stabbing in Colts Neck. Doyle, 18, had a history of using narcotics, mental health issues and violence, assistant prosecutor Laurie Gerhardt said during the sentencing.
Doyle's attorney, Michael Ansell, said his client, who was 16 at the time, was in an altered state of mind at the time of the stabbing.
"He was a regular young man who, on the night in question, took too many hallucinogenic mushrooms," Ansell said.
The 49-year-old victim said she thought it was her cat when she heard scratching at her screen. When she opened the door to let the pet in, she was confronted by Doyle, who forced his way into her home while carrying a 10-inch knife.
Doyle also stole her car, which was recovered in Aberdeen.
The woman was hospitalized for days and doctors said she lost about half the blood in her body from the stabbing. She said she's emotionally and physically scarred from the night and thought Doyle left her for dead.
Doyle was tried as an adult. He told Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ronald Reisner that the drugs "turned me into a monster that night," and he couldn't believe what he had done.
The judge said he didn't see any evidence that drugs played a role in Doyle committing the attack.
Doyle must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before he's eligible for parole and is prohibited from contacting the victim.