updated 1/3/2007 5:49:59 PM ET 2007-01-03T22:49:59

A man who threatened to drive his three children off a cliff because his wife threatened a divorce has been sentenced to prison for child abuse, the result of a plea agreement after jurors failed to reach a verdict on attempted murder.

Christopher Young, 36, was sentenced Tuesday to one to 15 years. He pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse Nov. 14.

Prosecutor Donna Kelly predicted Young would spend about two years behind bars.

Police said Young drove across a field April 18 with his three children — ages 2, 4 and 6 — and stopped about 30 feet from a cliff.

At trial, he said he threatened to drive off the cliff and kill his children hoping to make his wife change her mind about a divorce. He added: “God knows I wouldn’t do that.”

After a two-day trial, jurors in November could not reach a verdict on attempted aggravated murder.

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