BELLINGHAM, Wash. -

A man who nearly beat his girlfriend to death because she wouldn't give him a goodnight kiss pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced Thursday in Bellingham to 16 years in prison.

The Bellingham Herald reports it was the fifth felony assault conviction for 33-year-old Brent J. Bruwelheide.

He had originally been charged with attempted murder for the attack in June. The girlfriend didn't want to testify against him and told the judge at the sentencing hearing she wanted to maintain contact "because he's a huge part of my life."