A man who stabbed his ex-wife 72 times in her Bellevue home while their son was at school two years ago was sentenced Friday to 26½ years in prison.

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Saying he couldn’t ignore the “shocking brutality” of Nataliya Vabishchevich’s stabbing death in her Bellevue apartment nearly two years ago, Superior Court Judge John Chun sentenced her ex-husband to just over 26½ years in prison on Friday.

The sentence, the harshest the judge could impose under law, was 20 months longer than the state and defense had jointly recommended for Aleksandr Polak, who pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder for stabbing Vabishchevich 72 times on June 17, 2013.

Chun also imposed a lifetime no-contact order, barring Polak or any member of his family from contacting the now-16-year-old son of Polak and Vabishchevich.

“I can’t recall the last time I didn’t follow an agreed recommendation for incarceration,” Chun said. “But this is a unique situation. I cannot ignore the shocking brutality of the murder … In addition to the brutality, a mother was taken away from her son, a boy, and a woman was taken from her friends and family.”

Chun said the lifetime no-contact order — which the son can later petition the court to lift, if he ever chooses to do so — is meant to protect him “from future mental or physical harm” at the hands of his father.

The victim’s mother, Maria Vabishchevich, and her sister, Irina Sanujlik, addressed the King County court from Belarus via Skype, with a Russian interpreter relaying their comments in English.

Sanujlik said her sister, a massage therapist who moved to the U.S. when her son was 5, worked seven days a week to provide for him and save for his college education. The two were extremely close, she said. Sanujlik also said Polak had threatened to kill Vabishchevich’s entire family still living in Belarus.

“She was such a happy, joyful person and her son lost such a piece of happiness in losing her,” Sanujlik said.

Vabishchevich’s son, who was 14 when his mother was killed, still lives in King County and is now being raised by a couple who were friends of his mother’s, said Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Berliner.

Before the judge handed down his sentence, Berliner told the court Vabishchevich’s son lost both his mother and his best friend: a cousin on his father’s side who inadvertently provided information to Polak that made it easier for him to carry out his crime.

Polak asked his nephew about his son’s school schedule, Vabishchevich’s work schedule and surveillance cameras in the area, Berliner said. Polak also told his nephew that if anything happened to Vabishchevich, he, the husband, would be the first person police suspected — but he still anticipated that he would be cleared of wrongdoing and would then get custody of his son, she said.

Berliner said Polak agreed to plead guilty to accept responsibility for the murder and to spare his son — the last person besides Polak to see Vabishchevich alive — from having to testify at trial.

“The damage his father has done is obvious. He does not like to go out, he does not spend time with friends, he doesn’t have hobbies. He says he doesn’t really watch TV or play video games,” Berliner said of Vabishchevich’s son. “He doesn’t really talk very much and he told us he doesn’t really like people who do.”

After Vabishchevich’s body was found, Bellevue police questioned Polak, who claimed he had spent the day of his ex-wife’s murder at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, a second park and his Edmonds apartment.

Two days after her death, two Bellevue police officers followed Polak onto a bus at Seattle’s Greyhound station, according to the charges. One of the officers overheard Polak asking a female passenger if she knew how to get from San Diego to an airport across the border in Mexico.

Polak was arrested as he got off the bus in Los Angeles. He had $5,000 hidden in his baseball cap, according to the charging papers.

Polak’s attorney, Colleen St. Clair, said her client is extremely remorseful and could have pursued a mental-health defense, but he was “very adamant he would never put his son through a trial.”

In heavily accented English, Polak told the judge:

“I want to say I’m sorry in front of my ex-wife’s family, my son, in front of God,” he said. “In my opinion, I deserve the death penalty.”