WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Westchester County man who stabbed his estranged wife to death in 2016 has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

Authorities said Julius Reich stabbed his wife, Dr. Robin Goldman, more than 20 times while she was in the shower.

After the attack, he allegedly walked into the kitchen of their 6,500 square-foot Scarsdale home, smoked a cigarette and then called 911.

WEB EXTRA: Handwritten Note From Julius Reich to Judge Barry Warhit

Reich, 64, expressed his “profound remorse” during his sentencing hearing Wednesday.

“The damage that was caused is unfathomable. I shall bear the guilt forever. My only hope is that someday my children find it in their hearts to communicate with me,” he read from a prepared statement. “I hope and pray that they stay strong and find ways to continue their lives and careers with the love and devotion their mother exemplified.”

Goldman, 58, was a pediatrician at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. The couple had three children together.

In August 2015, Reich filed for divorce.

Defense attorney John Mitchell said it is impossible to understand why the millionaire snapped.

“Never raised his hand to a child, never got in a fistfight, never did anything that would suggest that somehow he would commit this enormously violent act,” he said.

The coroner found multiple defensive wounds on Goldman’s hands, which had helped heal so many in her life’s work.

“Someone very precious has been taken away, the questions of all things from my children is the loss that I deeply feel as well,” said Reich.

Reid’s attorney called the case “a very difficult kind of puzzle to unwind.”

“I mean there’s a man with no background at all that would suggest violence,” said Mitchell.

CBS2 obtained a letter Reich wrote to Judge Barry Warhit in which he said, “I had been under stress at work and at home with divorce, and my mother became ill. I took a heavy dose of medication that morning.”

Prosecutors agreed to downgrade the charge against him from murder to manslaughter to spare the couple’s adult children the pain of trial. The three kids have since cut off contact with Reich.

“My only hope is that my children find it in their hearts to communicate with me,” he said. “I hope and pray that they stay strong and continue their lives and careers with the love and devotion their mother exemplified.”

At one point, Reich had pursued an insanity defense, claiming he lost control under the influence of anti-anxiety medication. He later pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years as part of a plea deal. He could be set free by age 78, considering time served.