NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 20, 2022) – The Uhrichsville man who brutally assaulted his live-in girlfriend and stole her vehicle will be spending the next few years in prison.
Michael Derush begged Judge Michael Ernest to place him in an incarceration-based treatment program when he appeared by video in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Tuesday.
“I do understand that I deserve punishment for my actions, but I’m asking the court to impose local jail or EOCC or rehab center or extended community corrections release. I have a very bad addition. I’ve been struggling since I was 13 years old. I’m just asking the court to help me overcome this.”
The woman Derush assaulted was transported to a local hospital following the January 7th attack at a home on West First Street. She didn’t address the court but asked Ernest in a letter that she wanted Derush to get help for his drug abuse issues and for the two of them to be together. The judge, however, didn’t feel such a placement was appropriate, calling Derush’s crimes equally violent and demeaning.
“Just a flurry of just hitting and kicking no matter what, that just seems rather intentional to me, that you just set out to send a message to her by striking her in that fashion, and I find it hard to believe that all of this was just meth-related, that this was somehow out of character for you.”
A Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s detective found the victim’s vehicle and Derush at home in Goshen Township four days after the attack that left her with a broken eye socket, fractured jaw, and extensive bruising. Assistant County Prosecutor Scott Deedrick described it as one of the most brutal domestic assaults he has ever seen.
“And it’s clear that this wasn’t a one-time thing. And he may have been under the influence of drugs, but for someone to do that to somebody that they claim to love is chilling, and this isn’t his first domestic violence [conviction] or his first protection order.”
Derush, who turns 51 today, previously pleaded guilty to counts of assault, domestic violence, and vehicle theft. He received 97 days of credit toward his sentence for time already served.