Attacker gets life in prison

Andrew Helderman
Andrew Helderman

A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of attempted second-degree murder at a home in Holmes Beach on March 15, 2014, according to a news release from the office of State Attorney Ed Brodsky.

The prosecution sought enhancement of the sentence due to his previous conviction of escape from a Department of Corrections facility and battery on detention staff.

Andrew Helderman was arrested early in the morning after police answered a call saying Helderman was stabbing Nichole Sobr in a bathtub, according to the probable cause report from the Holmes Beach Police Department.

When Officers Steve Ogline and Robert Valardi arrived at the house on Clark Drive, they were directed by a third occupant of the house, Michael Fitzpatrick, to the bathroom. One of them had to kick in the door, and they found Sobr in the bathtub with a knife sticking out of her throat and blood all around. Helderman was standing over her threatening her. They yelled to Helderman to stop and he did. They handcuffed him and waited for an ambulance so EMTs could remove Sobr from the tub because the knife in the neck was close to her carotid artery, according to the police report.

Fitzpatrick said he tried earlier to get Helderman to stop by taking a video of him with his cell phone. He told investigators he tried to move closer to help Sobr, but when he did, Helderman lunged at him with a knife. Fitzpatrick said he took down the shower curtain and used the rod to hit Helderman in the head, taking off a chunk of his ear, but he still would not get off her.

Sobr is recovering from that night, according to the news release, but she still has scars on her body.

After the sentencing, Assistant State Attorneys Dickie Hough and Courtney Hollen released a statement, “This dangerous and violent defendant was brought to justice for a vicious and violent attack. We appreciate all of law enforcement’s dedication and cooperation and thank the jury for their careful consideration in this case. We are inspired by the victim’s courage and hope this verdict will bring her closure.”