ELYRIA — A Grafton woman was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to attempted murder in connection with an incident in which police said she stabbed her mother.
Rebecca Seel, 48, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and two counts of felonious assault, last month.
On Wednesday, Judge Raymond Ewers sentenced Seel to three years of community control. The prosecutor in the case and Seel’s attorney both asked Ewers to sentence the defendant to probation rather than prison time.
“I did have a chance to speak at some length with the defendant’s mother, the victim in this case,” Assistant County Prosecutor Matt Kern said. “She told me very clearly and very plainly that she was not looking for a prison sentence in this case.”
Police have said Seel planned to kill her parents as well as herself March 13, 2018, after purchasing three kitchen knives with silver blades and black handles at Walmart the previous day.
At 7:54 a.m. March 13, police responded to a home where they found Sandra Seel, 68, restraining her daughter in a chair in the backyard. Sandra Seel was bleeding from her left arm and left side of her back. Sandra Seel told police her daughter had stabbed her.
Sandra Seel told police Rebecca Seel was taking her father to a VA appointment when she turned to her mother, said, ‘Mom, don’t let them take the house,’ and stabbed her three times, police have said. Sandra Seel managed to escape the house through a back door and yelled for her husband, Raymond Seel, for help.
Raymond Seel brought a chair and he and his wife restrained their daughter until help arrived.
Two knives matching the description of the ones Rebecca Seel purchased were found on the ground by her feet in the backyard. It was then that police were informed by Rebecca Seel that the house was going into foreclosure.
Kern told Ewers the case was unlike most.
“The situation in this case is very unique and not what the court is used to seeing,” Kern said. “There was strong evidence in this case of a mental health issue that came suddenly, without really much of any prior warning.”
Patrick Hakos, Rebecca Seel’s defense attorney, said her parents have been supportive of their daughter, despite the fact they’re the victim and witnesses of the incident.
“They’ve been very supportive throughout and have remained in touch with me in setting up housing,” Hakos said. “They told me they have every intention of helping Rebecca get to and from all her counseling appointments and psychiatric appointments to make sure she gets the help she needs.”
When given the opportunity to address the court, Seel first apologized to her parents, who were not present in the courtroom.
“More importantly, this past year, I’d like to thank the court for allowing me to stay in jail,” Seel said. “I’ve worked really hard to get to understand my mental health status. I’ve attended over 50 classes since I’ve been there, including the last one yesterday. I don’t want to go through this again. I don’t want to hurt somebody.”
Seel was ordered by the court to be released from Lorain County Jail in March 2018, but in May she was arrested and taken back into custody.
Hakos said Seel had purposely violated her bond and reported herself to police to be sent back to jail. The reason she did so was because she had been given medication to help with her mental illness while in jail, but she feared she would run out of the medication prior to her appointment at the Nord Center to get the prescription refilled. She viewed it as perhaps the only way to get the medication she needed, Hakos said.
If Seel violates her probation, she could be sentenced to 11 years in prison.