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AUBURN — After remaining in jail without bail for more than a year, an Auburn man pleaded guilty Friday morning to first-degree assault after facing an attempted murder charge. 

Nathan Fillingham, 30, of 88 Capital St., was arrested after stabbing a 35-year-old man several times in the town of Victory on Aug. 6, 2017. When Cayuga County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the late-night incident at 458 Victory Road, they found that Joshua Hoeffner had been stabbed multiple times in the head, hand and torso.

Hoeffner was transported and treated at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse for serious injuries. Fillingham, then 28, was initially charged with first-degree assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, a class B felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor. Then, in December 2017, a grand jury indicted Fillingham on a charge of second-degree attempted murder, a class B felony.

At the time of the arrest, the sheriff's office would not discuss the motivation behind the stabbing, but said the men were known to each other.

In Cayuga County Court Friday, Fillingham's plea to the first-degree assault charge satisfied all three of his pending charges. 

Judge Mark Fandrich said Fillingham's assault charge alleged he intended to cause injury to Hoeffner with a knife.

"On Aug. 6, 2017 I intended to stab a man in the eye with a knife," Fillingham said during his guilty plea, admitting he intended to cause serious injury.

District Attorney Jon Budelmann stated that Fillingham's case was pending for so long because there was exploration of a psychiatric defense. In court, Fillingham confirmed that he was waiving any defense he may have had relative to a psychiatric report. Fillingham also waived his right to appeal his sentence.

While Fillingham could spend up to 25 years in prison for his conviction, Fandrich said he would likely sentence the defendant to 10 years in prison and five years post-release supervision in exchange for his plea. A permanent order of protection will be ordered for the victim and Fillingham may also be responsible for paying restitution for the victim's out-of-pocket medical costs.

Fillingham was sent to the Cayuga County Jail without bail and is due back for sentencing April 9.

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Staff writer Megan Ehrhart can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or megan.ehrhart@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @MeganEhrhart.

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