Ex-Seahawks player who killed wife asks family for forgiveness

Updated: October 4, 2004, 6:26 AM ET
Associated Press

MONTREAL -- Former Seattle Seahawks receiver Tommy Kane, who stabbed his wife to death, fought tears at a sentencing hearing as he begged her family for forgiveness.

Kane, 40, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing of Tammara Shaikh, said Friday he did not remember dragging her by the hair at his mother's house last fall and plunging a kitchen knife into her neck.

"Please forgive me," he said, addressing a handful of Shaikh's relatives in Quebec Superior Court. "I know you guys hate me, but I'm sorry."

He added: "I would never have hurt Tammy -- never. Tammy was the sweetest person."

Justice Fraser Martin scheduled sentencing for Nov. 5.

Most of Shaikh's relatives had left the courtroom prior before Kane talked about his sudden attack on the mother of his four children on Nov. 30, 2003.

He said he didn't recall repeatedly banging his estranged wife's head against the floor of his mother's west end home, punching and then stabbing her as his mother and a church friend tried in vain to stop him.

Kane said he was desperate to save his crumbling marriage to Shaikh, 35, who wanted a divorce.

Experts have told the court Kane was battling severe depression, cocaine addiction and personality problems at the time. Two psychiatrists testified he lost control and had not meant to kill his wife.

"I was going downhill," he said, speaking quietly. "I couldn't do anything but put my face in a bucket of cocaine until my heart stopped. But it wouldn't stop."

Kane was charged earlier with second-degree murder but, in an agreement with prosecutors, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge last month.

Prosecutor Louis Bouthillier has not made a sentencing recommendation but cited case law in which manslaughter has drawn sentences of seven to 20 years. He said Kane should get a stiff sentence because the attack on Shaikh was unprovoked.

Kane, a native of Montreal, played for Syracuse in 1985-87, ranks No. 3 on the school's all-time list with 17 career touchdowns and holds school records for single-season touchdowns (14) and highest average yards per catch in a season (22.0) and career (20.7).

After two seasons as a reserve with the Seahawks, he had a breakout year in 1990, catching 52 passes for 776 yards.

Kane caught 50 passes for 763 yards in 1991, but his 1992 season was cut short by career-threatening knee and ankle injuries and the Seahawks let him go in training camp in 1993.

He had a brief stint with Toronto of the Canadian Football League in 1994.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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