Suspect pleads guilty in 2012 Smokies attack, stabbing

Suspect pleads guilty in 2012 Smokies attack, stabbing

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William E. Seevers (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office) William E. Seevers (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)

GATLINBURG (WATE) - The man arrested earlier this year for a 2012 stabbing and sexual assault in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entered a guilty plea Monday afternoon.

As part of a plea agreement, William E. Seevers, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of aggravated sexual abuse by force. 

Previous story: Man charged with 2012 Smokies stabbing, sexual assault

According to the agreement documents, on June 8, 2012, Seevers grabbed the victim from behind while she was walking on the Gatlinburg Trail. He then put one hand on her mouth and used his other hand to place a knife to her throat.

The victim said Seevers grabbed her throat so hard she thought she would pass out.

The documents state Seevers tried to take the victim into a thicket, but she tried to push him away. In response, Seevers hit the victim in the face, choked her and stabbed her several times.

He then took the victim to a woody area, tied her up and forcibly engaged in sexual intercourse.

The statement says Seevers tied up the victim's legs with a piece of her shirt and walked away. The victim crawled to the roadway and was able to get help.

Seevers was then identified using DNA evidence and a photo lineup. People near the scene of the crime were able to identify Seevers and some described the truck he was driving.

The description of his truck was linked to a truck stolen from West Virginia. Seevers had been arrested and pleaded in Alabama on charges connected to the stolen truck.

Seevers was then located and questioned in Alabama. He initially acknowledged being in Gatlinburg at the time of the attack, but denied any involvement.

Seevers said he was high on a combination of cocaine and heroin at the time of the offenses and does not have a clear memory of them. However, he says he now believes he was responsible.

Under the agreement, Seevers and federal prosecutors agree an appropriate sentence is 27 years in prison including a term of life on supervised release. The court may also impose fines and special assessment fees.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 21.

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