ABERDEEN, S.D. — A far northeast South Dakota man who almost killed his girlfriend in a knife attack will spend nearly five years in federal prison after te was sentenced earlier this week on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.

John Matthew Pilcher, 49, of Roberts County along the North Dakota border was sentenced Monday, Nov. 18, in federal court in Aberdeen about a year after he assaulted his girlfriend with the knife.

In the middle of a verbal argument on Nov. 10, he pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the neck, court documents said.

The victim's neck arteries and veins were lacerated, including a very small cut to her jugular vein. Suffering from life-threatening trauma, she was transported to a hospital in Sisseton and then to Sanford Hospital in Fargo where she underwent surgery while in critical care. The FBI investigated the case.