Jacob Rodriguez, 36, admitted to the June 22, 2011 attack on Brittany Hickman, then his live-in girlfriend, in front of the couple's 2-year-old daughter and Hickman's 4-year-old son with another man, saying he was in a jealous rage at the time.
“I just stabbed her,” Rodriguez said as his sobbing victim watched in the courtroom.
Rodriguez, who previously served state prison time for aggravated assault, grabbed a knife Hickman had been using to make a sandwich and stabbed her at least 50 times, with her stomach, liver and aorta punctured, according to court testimony; Hickman's throat was also slashed, and she was stabbed about 20 times in the back.
Four bloodied knives—including the two that had been bent—were recovered from the scene, authorities said.
Hickman was rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden following the attack, where she spent a total of 19 days, some of it intensive care, recovering from her stab wounds.
Rodriguez surrendered to police in Runnemede hours after the attack, but prosecutors said he showed little remorse and went so far as to threaten Hickman's family while being taken into custody.
He's since been in jail on $200,000 bail.
The attack came a year after Rodriguez had been charged with stalking and harassment; Hickman took out a temporary restraining order against him, though that restraining order was later withdrawn, according to court testimony.
In addition to pleading guilty to the attempted murder charge, Rodriguez also pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the victim’s two young children when he took off following the attack.
The pleas came just as the case was scheduled to go to jury selection, and Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Staci Scheetz will recommend that Rodriguez be sentenced to 17 years in state prison for attempted murder and 365 days in prison on each of the two endangering charges.
He'll have to serve 85 percent of the 17-year term before he can be considered for parole.
Superior Court Judge Christine Allen-Jackson set sentencing for Nov. 15.