SALT LAKE CITY — A woman who blindfolded her husband, spun him around a few times and told him she had a "surprise" in store — and then beat him several times in the head with a hammer — has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.

Amy Teresa Ricks, 37, had been charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, for the May 4, 2007, attack that took place in her parent's Holladay condominium. The couple had gone out for dinner and then went to the condo. After Joel Ricks was hit with the hammer, prosecutors said, he pulled off the blindfold, spotted sleeping bags, a knife and plastic bags nearby, and ran off to get help.

A trial had been set for Tuesday, but instead, 3rd District Judge William Barrett accepted Amy Ricks' plea. He set April 19 for sentencing.

Her defense team had said that she suffers from post-traumatic-stress disorder, and they had planned to use a battered woman defense if the case had gone to trial.

The charge against her will be reduced to a third-degree felony after she completes a period of probation, and after that, she can request to have her record expunged.

One of her attorneys, Gil Athay, asked the judge to have the record show that the defense team requested the expungement under the law as it exists today since there is a bill before the state Legislature that, if passed, could change how expungements are handled in the future.

"It's a good resolution for Amy and her husband, Joel," said Susanne Gustin, another of Amy Ricks' attorneys. "It just brings some closure to a difficult three years."

The couple is still legally married, but living apart.

— Linda Thomson