Former Mass. Student Pleads Guilty In Professor's Stabbing, Sentenced To 4-5 Years In Prison

Tuesday, April 17th 2007, 5:58 pm
By: News On 6

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ A former college student pleaded guilty Tuesday to stabbing a science professor in the neck because she gave him a failing grade in an attack that she said made her more cautious in dealing with students.

Nikhil Dhar, 23, was sentenced to four to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors said Dhar, who is from Calcutta, India, had been flunking out of school and feared he would be deported. He was in the United States on a student visa.

Dhar followed Mary Elizabeth Hooker, an assistant professor of clinical lab sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, to her Cambridge home on Dec. 22, 2005. Dhar was a student in her hematology lecture and laboratory courses.

Hooker told police Dhar wanted to talk about failing her class, then dragged her into the yard, hit her and stabbed her in the neck. She was hospitalized for several days.

In a victim impact statement presented in court Tuesday, Hooker said she was ``extremely aware that the outcome of this attack could have been very different.'' She survived, she said, in part because neighbors heard her screams, called 911 and provided first aid until help arrived.

``I have even become much more cautious in my dealings with my students _ for that I am sad, for the student-teacher bond is a sacred one,'' she said.