A man stabbed his ex-girlfriend seven times with a butcher knife while her two young children watched, Michigan police said.

The 49-year-old man is expected to be arraigned Monday on charges of assault with intent to murder and assault with a dangerous weapon, state police said. The charges carry up to life in prison.

The attack happened Saturday in Pontiac, which state police patrol because of sharp cuts in the local police budget.

State Police Lt. Shannon Sims told the Detroit Free Press the man used an 8-inch knife to attack his 44-year-old ex-girlfriend, who had a protection order barring him from contacting her.

The Detroit News said she was in serious condition at POH Regional Medical Center.

Police withheld their names.