Man gets 27-year sentence after knife attack on woman in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A man who attacked a woman in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been sentenced to serve 27 years in prison.

Prosecutors have said that in June 2012, William Seevers held at knifepoint a 44-year-old woman who had been hiking on the Gatlinburg Trail. He sexually assaulted her, then stabbed and punched her as she tried to get away. Later, the woman was able to crawl to a road and was taken to a hospital by helicopter.

A DNA sample identified Seevers as the perpetrator. He was later found in an Alabama prison and was returned to Knoxville to stand trial.

Seevers pleaded guilty in April to attempted murder and aggravated sexual abuse by force.

The U.S. attorney's office in Knoxville said the 48-year-old Seevers was sentenced on Thursday.

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