Husband accused of attacking wife with meat cleaver

It's a brutal crime. Deputies say a man used a meat cleaver to attack his wife, and badly injure her. The Whitley County Sheriff's Office says James Privett admitted to the attack, after being arrested Monday night.

Around 6 p.m. Monday, deputies found Privett's wife, Erica, badly beaten outside of a home on Highway 1804, south of Williamsburg.

"Very sharp instrument, very easy to handle," Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said of the weapon used in the attack, "he (James Privett) struck her several times. Two blows to the head, three to the other parts of the body."

After that, investigators say James Privett went to a neighbor's house, and took his wife with him. They say he then kicked the door in on a neighbor's house, went in and got some clothing, then left.

Deputies found Privett close to the house, and arrested him.

The sheriff says Privett was under the influence when this all happened. Privett is now charged with attempted murder, burglary, and resisting arrest.

When WKYT talked to him before he went to jail, Privett had a message for his wife.

"I'm sorry for what I done," Privett said, "I love you with all my heart."

Crews took Erica Privett to the University of Tennessee Hospital. Deputies say she was talking along the way. Her condition is not known at this time.

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