The man who pleaded guilty to stabbing and raping a woman the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will spend the next 27 years behind bars.
William Earl Seevers, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder and one count of aggravated sexual abuse by force in April. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 324 months in federal prison, and will be on supervised parole for the rest of his life.
While in prison, he must have substance abuse and mental health counseling. He has requested to be sent to a prison in either Ohio or Michigan.
The victim appeared in court, gave a victim impact statement to the court, and told the judge about the trauma she suffered and the impact the crime was still having on her life. She said she was satisfied with the sentence and was grateful that Seevers can never hurt anyone again.
It took more than two years for Seevers to be brought to justice for this crime.
Court documents show that on June 8, 2012, Seevers grabbed the victim from behind and put a knife to her throat while she was walking on a Gatlinburg trail. When she tried to get away, he hit her, choked her and stabbed her with a knife. He then tied her up and raped her.
Seevers told the victim "he picked her because she was pretty and he had been watching her for a few days."
After he left, his victim managed to crawl to the road and get help.
Seevers admitted he was high on a combination of cocaine and heroin when he attacked the woman.
He's actually been behind bars since a few days after the attack. He was picked up on charges of driving a stolen truck in Alabama. DNA evidence is what eventually led investigators to charge him with the woman's attack.