Cary man who attacked former high school classmate with machete pleads guilty

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Neel Salil Mehta, 21, of Cary, pleaded guilty to attacking a former high school classmate with a machete Friday.

Neel Salil Mehta

The victim of the attack and her family were at the hearing.

According to the prosecutor, if Mehta didn't plea, a trial date would have been set.

Mehta was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Mehta's family issued this statement prior to the hearing:

On Jan. 12, 2017, the lives of the Kumari family and Mehta family changed forever. Since the beginning, Neel's mother and father has prayed for Priyanka Kumari's recovery. Neel's mother and father apologize for Neel's actions and pray that one day the Kumari family can find it in their hearts to forgive Neel. The family requests privacy at this time. God Bless.

Mehta was obsessed with Priyanka Kumari according to her father, Pankaj Kumar.

Kumar said his daughter and Mehta both attended Green Hope High School in Cary but he moved his daughter to Holly Springs High School in late 2015 because Mehta was stalking her.

The attack happened after she got off a school bus near her Apex home on January 12, 2017.

Her father said she suffered deep cuts to face, head, and neck from the blows of Mehta's machete.

He said she had 46 cuts on her head alone.

Mehta is charged with attempted murder.

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