Guilty Plea in UI Law Professor's Throat Slashing

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An eastern Illinois man has pleaded guilty to slashing the throat of a University of Illinois professor at a Champaign train station in 2011.

Joshua Scaggs of Fithian entered the plea Monday in Champaign County court to a count of attempted first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say the 26-year-old attacked 44-year-old law professor Dhammika Dharmapala. The professor tells The News-Gazette that the attack has been a “significant blow” to both his and his wife’s careers. He says he has had three major surgeries and several other medical procedures.

Scaggs has been in custody since his arrest the day of the attack on Dec. 7, 2011. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the felony.

A Champaign County judge set sentencing for June 16.

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