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ST. LOUIS • A man police say stabbed his father 23 times during a domestic dispute last year was sentenced to 18 years in prison in a plea deal with prosecutors.

William S. Kemple Jr., 30, pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced count of second-degree murder as well as armed criminal action. He was originally charged last year with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Kemple admitted killing his father, William Kemple Sr., 54, of the 4200 block of Meramec Street. Police said on Jan. 27, 2018, the elder Kemple was found dead at the home of stab wounds and had a shirt stuffed in his mouth. 

A witness reported seeing Kemple Jr. covered in blood after the attack on his father, charges said. The son was arrested later and had three knives, including the murder weapon.

On Monday, Circuit Judge Michael Noble accepted the plea agreement and sentenced him to an 18-year term.

Kemple Jr.'s criminal history included a 2015 charge of domestic assault that accused Kemple of punching his then-wife in the eye, head-butting her and choking her.

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