Posted Online: March 07, 2014, 7:14 pm

EM man pleads guilty to attempted murder

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By Rachel Warmke,

Aaron Matthew Rowland, of East Moline, was charged with attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated battery in Rock Island County Circuit Court.
An East Moline man pleaded guilty Friday to attempted murder for repeatedly stabbing an ex-lover at her home in December 2012.

Aaron Matthew Rowland, 40, who prosecutors said sneaked into the 47-year-old woman's home and stabbed her multiple times before fleeing, entered his plea to the Class X felony before Judge F. Michael Meersman, avoiding a trial set to begin Monday.

As part of the plea negotiations, Class X charges of home invasion and aggravated battery are expected to be dismissed at sentencing, which has not yet been set.

By agreement of attorneys, Mr. Rowland faces a cap of 20 years in prison and will have to serve at least 85 percent of whatever sentence is imposed.

On Dec. 9, 2012, East Moline police were called to the 100 block of 41st Avenue after the victim called 911 about 8:40 a.m. saying Mr. Rowland had stabbed her. She was treated for serious injuries at a local hospital.

According to police records, a neighbor saw Mr. Rowland flee the scene in a 1994 green Toyota truck, clutching something in his hand.

He is believed to have driven to the home of a family member in Milan where he abandoned the truck, records say.

Authorities reported finding a black-handled folding pocket knife in the truck, as well as a soiled towel and suspect strands of hair in the residence where the vehicle was parked.

Mr. Rowland was arrested Dec. 9, 2012, by East Moline police and remained in Rock Island County Jail as of Friday afternoon.

His mental fitness was called into question in January 2013, but he was determined fit to stand trial or plead in the case after an evaluation by a psychologist.