Man gets suspended sentence, probation in wife’s death

By CASSANDRA MICKENS/Associate Editor

COLUMBIANA — A 58-year-old former Sterrett man found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the September 2011 death of his wife was sentenced to serve six months in jail and two years on probation in Shelby County Circuit Court June 3.

Derossett

Derossett

Michael Shane Derossett, who now lists a Trussville address, according to court records, stood before Circuit Judge Dan Reeves in a tan plaid shirt and blue jeans as his family looked on from the gallery. Derossett was sentenced to 365 days in jail, but Reeves split the sentence. Derossett will serve six months in the Shelby County Jail with the remainder of his sentence suspended. Upon his release, Derossett will be on probation for two years under the split sentence. In April, Derossett pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in connection with the death of his wife, 48-year-old Sonya S. Derossett.

On Sept. 21, 2011, Shelby County sheriff’s deputies and Westover Fire and Rescue were dispatched twice to the 7000 block of Shelby County 51 in Sterrett, where responders found Sonya Derossett incoherent and unresponsive during their second response.

Sonya Derossett was transported by ambulance to Shelby Baptist Medical Center, where she died Sept. 22, 2011.  The Shelby County Coroner’s Office notified sheriff’s investigators that Sonya Derossett’s cause of death was suspicious. Investigators subsequently visited the Derossett residence to speak with Michael Derossett and search for evidence of a crime.

After months of investigation, Michael Derossett was arrested and charged with murder in April 2012. Investigators presented evidence against Michael Derossett to the Shelby County Grand Jury, and the grand jury returned a murder indictment in April 2012.

During Derossett’s trial in April of this year, Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Daniel Alexander told jurors that Sonya Derossett ingested antifreeze before her death, and Michael Derossett knew about it. Derossett’s attorney, Victor Miller Jr., argued that Sonya Derossett had previously attempted suicide, and believes Sonya Derossett had suicidal thoughts when she ingested antifreeze.

Following the sentencing, Michael Derossett and his family cried and embraced outside Reeves’ courtroom. He is slated to begin serving his sentence June 9.