BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man was sentenced Thursday, Nov. 29, to serve five years in prison after he "went berserk" and stabbed a man in the stomach.
Brett Anthony Hoffman, 21, was using drugs upstairs in the victim's home on Beal Street on Oct. 6, 2012, according to court records. He was asked to leave but refused to go. Hoffman's sister and the resident got into an argument at the bottom of the stairs. Hoffman butted in and told him not to talk to his sister like that.
"It's my house and I'll talk to her however I like," the victim replied.
Hoffman grabbed a 15-inch knife and stabbed the man in the stomach. The victim yelled to the sister that he'd just been stabbed.
"Then you'd better leave the house and call 911," she replied, according to a probable cause statement.
Officers found the man screaming in pain sitting in the yard of a neighboring house.
The knife was later found covered in blood.
A few days later Hoffman was tracked down at his mother's mobile home in Marietta. He pleaded guilty this week to assault in the second degree while armed with a deadly weapon.
Minutes after his sentencing, Hoffman's Facebook profile photo was updated to show him talking on a phone in a visitation booth of Whatcom County Jail. He's flashing a gang sign in the photo.
Hoffman has a history of violent crime. In August 2010, he choked his girlfriend, who was five months pregnant, until she started to lose consciousness at a home on Patton Street. Officers arrived to find her bleeding from the face. She had bruises and scratches on her arm, chest and neck. Hoffman was hiding under a large pile of clothes in the bedroom.
He was sentenced to a year in jail, with all but two months suspended.
The woman in that case later rescinded a no-contact order. A month later, when she reapplied for another court order, she called that decision "the biggest mistake of my life."