Man gets 25 years for trying to kill estranged wife at Colonie spa

Victim survived after heroic efforts by bystanders, emergency surgery
Thomas Caulfield
Thomas Caulfield

COLONIE — A Colonie man was sentenced Friday to spend most of the rest of his life in prison for the near-murder of his estranged wife in a local day spa last August.

Thomas Caulfield, 52, drew a term of 25 years to life on his May 23 guilty plea to second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, criminal contempt and criminal possession of a weapon.

On Aug. 30 Caulfield entered Beauty & Bliss Spa on Central Avenue armed with a knife and metal knuckles and attacked Denise Caulfield, an employee there.

She held a restraining order against him at the time of the attack, because 10 weeks earlier he had rammed his car into hers repeatedly while she was sitting in it. 

As the attack in the spa began, the co-owner of the business and the woman whose nails Denise Caulfield had been manicuring attempted in vain to fight off Caulfield. Other employees fled outside and flagged down two men driving past.

Both charged inside. One broke Thomas Caulfield away from his wife, disarmed him and grabbed him in a chokehold while the other — a former emergency medical technician — tended to the many wounds suffered by Denise Caulfield, who was by then bleeding heavily and unresponsive.

Emergency surgery at Albany Medical Center is credited with saving her life.

An online crowdsourcing campaign helped raise money for medical care for Denise Caulfield, a breast cancer survivor and Niskayuna High School graduate.

The case was prosecuted by Shannon Sarfoh, bureau chief of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office Special Victims Unit. 

Albany County Court Judge William A. Carter additionally sentenced Thomas Caulfield to five years’ post-release supervision.

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