William Miles Buckman will spend at least seven years in prison for attacking two acquaintances with knives near Swan Falls dam last September.
The 34-year-old Buckman pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated battery and third degree arson late last year in connection with the incident.
Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen sentenced Buckman to a total of 20 years in prison late last month. Buckman can ask for parole after serving seven years.
Deputies arrested Buckman in September after he used knives to cut two people he was camping and fishing with near Swan Falls dam.
Deputies also charged Buckman with two counts of second-degree kidnapping for holding the same two people at knifepoint. Those charges were later dropped as part of a plea agreement with Ada County prosecutors
Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies and Kuna Police began their investigation just after 5 a.m. Sept. 28 after getting a 911 call that a man was attacking people with a knife near Swan Falls Dam.
When deputies arrived they found a man and woman in a pickup truck with knife wounds but not the attacker. Deputies found Buckman moments later trying to get into a building attached to the dam.
At that point, deputies took Buckman into custody. The two victims went to a local hospital for treatment for the knife wounds.
Witnesses told deputies that Buckman was fishing on the dam — and drinking alcohol — with a group of people for most of the night while others in the group were sleeping in a tent on the bank of the river.
At some point early that morning, Buckman got angry with a couple in the tent.
At least one witness told detectives the argument was because the people in the tent would not go into the river to retrieve a flashlight someone else dropped into the water.
Witnesses say Buckman walked over to the tent and started to threaten the couple inside, cutting the tent with a knife and threatening to set it on fire.
The couple got out of the tent and a physical struggle with Buckman ensued. That’s when the man was cut on the arm.
Witnesses say Buckman then held the couple at knifepoint and made them walk over to a nearby truck as part of the dispute about the flashlight.
That’s when another fight broke out. Both the man and woman from inside the tent sustained lacerations as they fought with Buckman. The man had knife wounds on the neck, shoulder, and arm. The woman had a knife wound on her arm.