Kila Man Found Guilty of Aggravated Assault

By Beacon Staff

A Kila man has been found guilty of a vicious attack on a man he found in bed with his wife.

A Flathead County jury late Wednesday convicted Robert Derby III, 35, of aggravated assault and felony criminal endangerment for the March 3, 2008 fight. District Judge Katherine Curtis scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 2.

The attack on the 29-year-old victim caused him to lose sight in his left eye, which was later removed. He also had a broken jaw and bruised ribs.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt the jury returned the right verdict in this case,” said Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan. “People need to act appropriately or be held accountable for their actions.”

Derby was taken into custody after the hearing.

Derby’s attorney, Thane Johnson, said he expects to file an appeal. He had argued that the attack was an “involuntary act” and that Derby “snapped” when he saw another man in bed with his wife.

Derby and his wife were separated at the time, but Johnson told jurors she had led Derby to believe she wanted to reconcile. He said the man had also told Derby his affair with Derby’s wife was over.

“When he came through the door and saw the betrayal … he snapped, he lost it,” Johnson said. He called the situation “a classic case of deception, lies and betrayal.”

Corrigan, however, asked the jury to base its verdict on fact and law, not how much they liked or disliked Derby’s wife.

After the beating, Derby brought his three daughters into the bedroom, which was the basis for a his conviction on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of children.

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