Kandee Collind, formerly Kandee Weyland. Credit: Courtesy of York County Jail

An Acton woman who fatally stabbed her ex-husband in front of their children more than two years ago has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.

The Portland Press Herald reports that York County Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas on Monday told 49-year-old Kandee Collind that he wanted to credit her for sparing her children a jury trial, but the seriousness of the fatal stabbing was magnified by the fact her children witnessed it.

Collind, formerly Kandee Weyland, pleaded guilty in August 2018 to stabbing to death her ex-husband, Scott Weyland, in the driveway of his Milton Mills Road home in Acton on Feb. 22, 2017. Police and prosecutors have said Collind stabbed Weyland after learning he was awarded primary custody of their two children, who witnessed the stabbing. The couple’s divorce had been finalized on Feb. 17, 2017.

Collind previously entered a not guilty plea in May 2018.

Her attorneys later filed a motion asking York County Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas to allow Collind to withdraw the guilty plea, saying she should be permitted to take her case to trial. Central to Collind’s case were claims that she didn’t knowingly or voluntarily enter the guilty plea nor understood elements of the intentional and knowing murder charge against her because she had not taken her prescribed medication that day.

But Douglas rejected her bid in July, writing in a 22-page decision that there was no evidence to support Collind’s claim that she didn’t take her prescribed medication while at the York County Jail in Alfred. Logs kept by Correctional Health Partners, which delivers medical services at the jail where Collind has been held, showed that her medication was dispensed the morning of the hearing, the company’s health care administrator had testified.

“Defendant appeared to the court on the morning of the [plea change] proceeding to be alert, cogent and responsive,” Douglas wrote. “And she confirmed several times and in several ways that she understood what she was doing.”

The justice wrote that he found testimony from psychologist Richard Doiron, who testified on Collind’s behalf in June, “unpersuasive” in supporting Collind’s contention that she lacked capacity to enter a knowing and voluntary plea.

Douglas noted that 57 days passed between when Collind entered her guilty plea and asked to withdraw it.

Douglas wrote in his decision that Collind’s decision to withdraw her plea was based less on asserting her innocence than a “tactical decision” that she might get a better outcome at trial than she initially believed.

Under her plea agreement, Collind’s possible sentence was capped at 32 years. The minimum sentence for murder is 25 years.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese told the judge in December that the state would have asked for “substantially” more prison time if Collind was convicted at trial.