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PONCA, Neb. -- An Emerson, Nebraska, man was sentenced Monday to up to 40 years in prison for a crime he described as a "possible attempted murder" when he called authorities to his home.

Joe Saufley, 23, had pleaded guilty in November in Dixon County District Court to felony charges of first-degree assault, first-degree sexual assault, strangulation with serious bodily injury, first-degree domestic assault and a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

The charges carried sentences ranging from 5-10 years to 30-40 years in prison. District Judge Paul Vaughan ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, or at the same time.

Saufley called authorities at 12:20 a.m. May 7 and asked for police and an ambulance to come to his home in the 1100 block of Logan Street in Emerson, telling them he had murdered his girlfriend. When police arrived, Saufley was standing in the street with blood dripping from his hand. He was arrested without incident.

The victim came out of the house, court documents said, covered in blood and had injuries over her face, head and body.

Officers who responded to the call observed blood throughout the house and found several knives inside.

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Court reporter

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