A Malone man with an extensive criminal history pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Eric S. Gonzalez admitted his guilt in attacks that occurred in 2009 and 2010 involving Lori Matthews of Malone.

He will be sentenced on Jan. 3, 2011, to no more than 14 years determinate, with five years of post-release supervision, according to the plea agreement.

Gonzalez has served time previously in Franklin County Jail, but this will be his first state incarceration.

His criminal history dates back to his early teenage years, according to the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.

More recently, in early 2008, a jury convicted the Malone man of misdemeanor charges in connection with an underage-drinking party in 2006. He provided alcohol to teenage girls at the party and allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old.

A jury cleared him of rape charges but found him guilty of unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

A judge sentenced him to three years in jail, deeming Gonzalez an "out-of-control" repeat offender.

The father of three was in Franklin County Jail for nearly a year when he was arrested on a felony assault charge in connection with an alleged jailhouse beating in May 2009.

Gonzalez was visiting with a female acquaintance in the jail when he punched and kicked the woman during an argument.

Gonzalez was released when his sentence was up, but on Feb. 1, 2010, Malone Village Police responded to a report of a domestic dispute and found Gonzalez in the Webster Street residence of Lori Matthews, who had a court order of protection barring him from any contact with her.

Police said he was trying to get in her residence to kill her and displayed a steak knife when they approached him.

He was charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree criminal contempt, menacing a police officer, first-degree attempted burglary and second-degree criminal contempt.

Matthews told officers of past incidents of violence and abuse at the hands of Gonzalez, specifically an incident on Aug. 7, 2009, when he choked her to the point of unconsciousness.

Because of that, he was additionally charged with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and second-degree menacing.

District Attorney Derek P. Champagne said Gonzalez pleaded guilty Thursday to two separate charges of attempted murder.

Assistant District Attorney Gary Pasqua and Champagne prosecuted the case.

"Law enforcement has had a multitude of contacts with Mr. Gonzalez in the past," Champagne said in a news release.

"Law enforcement used great restraint during his last arrest, as he was in the attempted commission of a violent felony and the use of deadly physical force by the responding officer would have likely been deemed justified.

"It was fortunate for all involved that he chose to drop the knife and cooperate."

E-mail Stephen Bartlett at: sbartlett@pressrepublican.com

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