Desta enters plea in attempted murder case
WORTHINGTON -- Dessalegne F. Desta, 61, of Worthington, last week entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree assault -- great bodily harm. Desta was originally charged with three other counts, including two count...
WORTHINGTON - Dessalegne F. Desta, 61, of Worthington, last week entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree assault - great bodily harm. Desta was originally charged with three other counts, including two counts of premeditated first-degree attempted murder and an additional count of assault. In the agreement, the other three charges will be dismissed.
Desta was arrested in May following an assault on his wife and daughter. According to court documents, Desta attacked the two women with a hammer, striking them in the head. At the scene, Desta admitted to officers that he had struck both women. His wife and daughter were both transported to Sanford Worthington Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.
When interviewed, Desta told officers he’d attacked his wife because she had not told him of a pending trip to Ethiopia. He also said he thought she was having an affair, but had no evidence of the accusation. Desta added he was upset with his daughter because she’d taken her mother’s side.
As a result of the attack, Desta’s daughter had more than one skull fracture, including a depressed fracture, which is a break in a cranial bone (or crushed portion of skull) with depression of the bone in toward the brain. She also suffered a seizure and lost motor function on one side of her body. His wife also suffered a skull fracture.
Following a request for a speedy trial by defense counsel, Desta had been scheduled for a five-day jury trial in mid-October. Judge Gordon Moore ordered a presentence investigation to be performed in the matter. Desta is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 10.
Each charge to which Desta has pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a $30,000 fine or both. As part of the plea agreement, the court will decide if sentences on the charges will be concurrent or consecutive.