MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 33-year-old man will spend 12 years in prison for hitting a woman on the head repeatedly with a hammer, inflicting “terrible injuries” on the victim, the Anoka County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Justin Joseph Cardinal appeared in Anoka County District Court Tuesday. There, he was sentenced to 120 months on a charge of second-degree assault.

In November of 2014, Cardinal was driving the victim and another female acquaintance to Running Aces Casino when he became upset with the victim. He then drove the car into a ditch.

While getting help from a nearby homeowner, Cardinal took a hammer out of a bag and repeatedly struck the female victim in the head. He fled the scene, but was later found inside a garage when authorities searched by helicopter.

The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries to her head and hands.

“This innocent victim was attacked for no reason and suffered terrible injuries,” Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said. “The unprovoked assault by Cardinal justified the sentence.”

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