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updated: 4/20/2016 5:01 PM

Addison man gets 52 years for murder, attempted murder

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  • Kurtis Worley of Addison was sentenced to 52 years in prison for the stabbing murder of his wife, Martha Worley, and stabbing of his stepson.

    Kurtis Worley of Addison was sentenced to 52 years in prison for the stabbing murder of his wife, Martha Worley, and stabbing of his stepson.


An Addison man convicted of murdering his wife and stabbing his teenage stepson in 2013 was sentenced Wednesday to 52 years in prison.

Kurtis Worley, 35, faced between 26 and 90 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

Worley repeatedly stabbed his 39-year-old wife, Martha Worley, in the head and body while she slept around 3 a.m. July 26, 2013, inside their home on North Craig Place, authorities said.

Worley also slashed the throat of his 15-year-old stepson after the boy and his 12-year-old brother heard their mother scream and tried to intervene.

Police arrived to find the boys outside, still on the phone with a 911 operator.

Prosecutors played a portion of the younger boy's 911 call Wednesday in which he can be heard yelling, "He's killing my mom! Please hurry! He stabbed my brother in the neck!"

Addison detectives testified Wednesday they found blood-smeared walls throughout the hallways and a washroom before breaking into Worley's bedroom, where they found Martha Worley on the bed and Kurtis Worley on the floor with self-inflicted knife wounds to his throat and wrists.

Worley, when given a chance to speak before his sentence was imposed, told Judge Liam Brennan he avoided alcohol for most of his life but turned to it to "numb the pain" after he saw his wife with another man. He said he started drinking in the garage every other night before he would go to sleep.

"On this night I drank a lot more than usual, and then I went to talk to my wife about the pain she was causing," Worley said. "Then I blacked out. I don't remember hurting my wife, my son or myself. I wish I would have just left the house."

Prosecutors said the 1.9-inch stab wound to Martha Worley's head left the broken tip of the knife lodged in her brain and likely caused her to be declared brain dead later that evening. Worley's stepson had emergency surgery on his pharynx and was released from the hospital several days later.

"In the early morning hours of July 26, 2013, Kurtis Worley armed himself with not one but two knives and viciously stabbed his wife Martha to death as she slept in their bed," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement after the ruling. "Thanks to the outstanding work of the Addison Police Department, this brutal and cowardly attack will not go unpunished as Mr. Worley will now spend the next 50 years of his life behind bars."

Worley's attorneys argued for a minimum sentence, but Brennan said Martha Worley "suffered a panoply of knife wounds" not worthy of a minimum sentence.

"This was a substantial fight here and it was a fight that was not even," Brennan said.

Brennan sentenced Worley to 40 years for the murder, of which he must serve the entire sentence, and 12 years, which must be served at 85 percent, for the attempted murder. He receives credit for time served since July 26, 2013.

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