BISMARCK —A Bismarck woman is accused of leaving her children home alone and stabbing her ex-husband while he was driving late Wednesday night, Nov. 18.

Melanie Denise Nimley, 44, appeared Thursday afternoon in Burleigh County District Court on felony charges of attempted murder, unlawful entry into a vehicle, terrorizing and child neglect. If convicted of stabbing her 30-year-old ex-husband, Sullivan Nimley, she could face 20 years in prison.

The charges stem from police responding around 11 p.m. Thursday to a crash in northwest Bismarck. According to court documents:

Nimley told police she drove to where she knew her ex-husband was getting ready to leave for work, entered his vehicle without his knowledge and hid in the back seat with a kitchen knife. She stayed hidden, but as he came out of a Loaf and Jug convenience store at North Washington Street and Century Avenue, Sullivan Nimley noticed his ex-wife in the back of his vehicle.

He told her to get out, but she refused and said she wanted to talk. He agreed to drive her to her home to have a discussion.

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As they were driving, Melanie Nimley put the knife to her ex's throat and said she was going to kill him. The two struggled, and Sullivan Nimley was stabbed in the right shoulder.

He lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree at 2829 Ithica Drive, about two blocks west of the Loaf and Jug.

Melanie Nimley said she brought the knife with her and planned to threaten Sullivan Nimley into leaving her alone. She said she didn't want him in her life, and she didn't care what happened, according to court documents.

"I stabbed him," she said according to police. "It was the only way I could be free of him."

The defendant also acknowledged that she left her three children at home alone with no one to take care of them as she confronted her ex, court documents alleged.