"I offer forgiveness and I forgive him," Melissa Dohme said Monday after Judge Keith Meyer sentenced Robert Lee Burton Jr., 22. "Forgiveness is a sign of letting go and when you forgive someone that hurts you, you take away their power."
Burton expressed remorse and begged for mercy before being sentenced in a Pinellas County courtroom in Clearwater, ABC News reported. He blamed the January 2012 attack in Clearwater, in which he repeatedly stabbed Dohme and left her for dead, on bipolar disorder.
"I'm very thankful that he will forever be in prison. Everything he did to me I believe that it could only be a life sentence," Dohme said. "I wasn't able to walk away with 10 or 20 stabs. Only after 32 stab wounds and Robert Burton thought I was dead did he walk away. The only justice in return was a life sentence."
Dohme left the court with her boyfriend, Cameron Hill, a Clearwater EMT who was one of the first responders to come to Dohme's aid after the attack.