Casey Brezik, 25, was on the campus of Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Mo., in September 2010 the day the college was preparing to host a speech by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
Brezik, who is schizophrenic and had been living on the street doing drugs, saw the podium set up for Nixon's visit later in the day and associated it with delusions about the government he regularly suffered, his attorney David Suroff said. He then walked into a campus building and lunged at Dean of Instruction Al Dimmitt, hitting him in the neck with a knife.
The Kansas City (Mo.) Star said prosecutors pushed for Brezik to get a life sentence for the crime but Suroff said it was a years-long untreated mental illness to blame. Now that it is being treated Brezik has shown improvement and expressed remorse for his actions, the lawyer said.
At his sentencing Brezik apologized for his actions.
"I have to take responsibility for this," Brezik said. "I did commit a heinous act. I have to work on this so it never happens again."