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Sentencing hearing for attempted murder begins with grisly details

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:20 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 12:31 a.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – Kelly Krause went to sleep July 1, 2013, a different woman than she is today.

Just after 4 a.m., she and her boyfriend, Jim McGill, were woken up by Krause's ex-boyfriend and the father of her child as he plunged knives into their bodies.

Jimmy Bell broke into her Crystal Lake home and stabbed the pair 23 times. The attack left Krause with a permanent scar along her jaw line extending from her chin to her ear. Other wounds he left her weren't as visible, she said at a sentencing hearing Thursday.

"He sentenced me to live the rest of my life with the physical reminder of the night he tried to kill me," Krause said. "… I'm not even 30 years old and he's left scars both physically and emotionally that will last the rest of my life."

Bell previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder and armed violence. His sentencing hearing began Thursday, and was packed with emotional testimony, harrowing images of the crime scene and a chaotic 911 call.

On the call, McGill is heard telling the dispatcher that he's losing consciousness, and implicated Bell in the double stabbing. In the background, Krause screams, frantic for help or for answers about her 6-year-old daughter with Bell, who slept through the attack.

Bell looked down the entire hearing, never meeting the gaze of Krause and McGill family members who described a blanket draped over Krause's daughter, shielding the child's eyes from the blood-soaked crime scene; provided details of Krause's bloody hands that let her cellphone slip from them; relayed the look in McGill's eyes as he told Krause, "I'm going to die."

The 31-year-old Elgin man fled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after the July 2, 2013, attack and was apprehended there six days later. A bloody knife was found in his car.

Bell broke into Krause's Crystal Lake townhouse through a basement window. They had been a couple for more than 10 years.

The hearing before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather will continue Friday.

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