Craig man sentenced to 2 years for felony assault
February 21, 2013
Craig — A Craig man who pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit second-degree assault was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison.
Derik Scott, 24, pleaded guilty to the Class 5 felony charge earlier this month as part of a deal with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
Matt Tjosvold, Moffat County's deputy district attorney, dropped more severe charges against Scott in order to reach the plea deal, including two counts of second-degree assault, a Class 4 felony, and one count of violating the conditions of a bail bond, a Class 6 felony.
The charges stemmed from a domestic abuse incident with Scott's wife, Leia Todacheeny, in December 2012 in which Scott beat Todacheeny with his belt, knocking out a tooth and causing other serious injuries, according to court records.
It wasn't the first time Scott had become violent with his wife.
On Thursday, Tjosvold cited Scott's lengthy criminal history, including a previous domestic abuse conviction in 2011, and his reputation of not complying with court orders in recommending the presumptive maximum penalty for a Class 5 felony of three years in the Department of Corrections.
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Scott's attorney, public defender Kiyomi Bolick, recommended intensive supervised probation instead of prison. Bolick presented the court with a signed document showing Scott has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly since posting bond in January.
Scott also cited his addiction to alcohol in a statement to the court before his sentencing.
"Since going to jail I realized I have a problem," Scott said. "Since I started going to AA I have changed. It feels good, but I need help. I want treatment."
Todacheeny also pleaded for a sentence other than prison, saying now is the time for her, Scott and their three children to make a positive change in their lives.
Chief Judge Michael O'Hara took their comments into consideration but ultimately decided on a prison sentence.
"I don't disagree that you have a problem with alcohol," O'Hara said. "A lot of people who sit in that chair have problems with drugs and alcohol, but the difference between you and most of them is they don't hit their wives.
"When you harm somebody else the stakes go way up, and I can't justify probation in this case."
Scott was remanded to the Moffat County Public Safety Center, from which he will be transported to Denver to begin his two-year sentence.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org