LIHUE — A man accused of stabbing his pregnant girlfriend pleaded no contest to lesser charges Thursday.
Christopher Keola Cruz, 34, pleaded to one count of attempted manslaughter and one count of reckless endangering in the second degree.
On Dec. 6, 2015, Cruz and his girlfriend, Victoria Kanahele, were stopped by Kauai police behind the Eleele Big Save for a traffic violation, according to court records. After police left, the two began fighting until Cruz allegedly pulled out a knife, stabbed Kanahele and fled on foot.
Kanahele was rushed to the Wilcox Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, where her 28-week-old baby later died after an emergency cesarean, according to court records.
Cruz, who is from Eleele, was originally charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping, abuse of family or household members, second-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree reckless endangering, driving without a license, no motor vehicle and resisting arrest.
Cruz was set for trial in September, before pleading to the two charges Thursday.
He faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.
Cruz is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 5 before Judge Randal Valenciano.