Jury convicts man in Valentine's Day stabbing of estranged wife

News-DemocratOctober 10, 2013 

AP GRAPHICS

A 61-year-old man was convicted by a St. Clair County jury Wednesday of stabbing his estranged wife on Valentine's Day in Swansea.

Dwight D. Long was convicted of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery, aggravating fleeing or attempting to elude an officer and violating an order of protection. He faces up to 30 years in prison and will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence. St. Clair County Circuit Judge Zina Cruse will sentence Long on Dec. 9.

"Whatever difficulties he encountered in his life are explanations and not excuses," Assistant State's Attorney Daniel Lewis said during his closing argument. "And whatever stress he was under on that day is a distraction and not a defense. When someone stabs another person twice in the back towards their heart, that shows an intent to kill."

Lewis and Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Fischer prosecuted the case against Long.

The jury convicted Long of attacking his estranged wife, Karva Pitts, outside Illinois Eye Surgeons in the 3900 block of North Illinois Street in Swansea, where she worked. She had an active order of protection against him due to prior threats.

According to testimony at the trial, Long waited for Pitts outside the office and when she emerged, Long stabbed her twice in the back, puncturing one of her lungs, before fleeing in a vehicle. She was taken to a St. Louis hospital for treatment.

Pitts' co-workers gave police a description of Long and his vehicle and a Swansea officer spotted Long's vehicle on Frank Scott Parkway and attempted to stop him.

Instead of stopping, Long led Swansea officers, troopers with the Illinois State Police and New Baden police officers on a high speed pursuit that ended with a rolling roadblock on Interstate 64 near New Baden.

Long slit his wrist during the pursuit and was taken to a Belleville hospital for treatment for his self-inflicted injury.

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