By Charles Shiver
On Jan. 28, 2022, Chief Superior Court Judge Clayton Tomlinson sentenced Derek Vasi, 32, of Sparks to 30 years’ probation for criminal attempt to commit murder, according to court records.
In a case brought by the Sparks Police Department, at a Church Street, Sparks, residence, on Nov. 5, 2019, Derek Vasi used a sword with apparent Japanese writing on the blade to stab his father in the chest, nearly killing him.
The judge also ordered Derek Vasi to attend and complete the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Integrated Treatment Program (ITF). The nine-month ITF program actively combines interventions intended to address substance use and mental disorders with the goal of treating both disorders, related problems, and the whole person more effectively, according to the Department of Corrections. Vasi is to remain in jail custody until accepted into ITF.
In addition, the judge ordered Vasi to perform 200 hours of community service work, have no violent or abusive contact with the victim, and pay a $2,000 fine. The judge barred Vasi from the Alapaha Judicial Circuit, including Cook County, suspended upon strict compliance with probation conditions.
At the time of the incident, Sparks Police Officer Donald Dutton told the Adel News that he responded to a call about a possible stabbing with a sword at the Church Street residence at about 8:13 p.m. Nov. 5, 2019. Dutton said he asked Derek Vasi who had stabbed his father, who is in his 60s. Derek Vasi told the officer that he had stabbed his dad with a Japanese-style sword, Dutton said. The weapon was recovered and was being held as evidence by Sparks Police. Derek Vasi was taken to the Cook County Jail.
The victim has been recovering from his injuries. The sword’s blade, approximately 2 feet long, lacerated the victim’s liver and possibly broke a rib, according to the officer.
The victim told authorities that his son “hadn’t been acting right” all day when the stabbing occurred. Derek Vasi supposedly told his dad that “the Blood gang” was after them, and “he had been trying to get him out of his room all night,” Dutton said.
The victim related that Derek had stabbed him while the victim was lying in his bed. Witnesses stated that the victim ran out of his house with blood pouring from his mouth and yelling that his son had stabbed him. The victim ran to a neighbor’s house and told them that he needed help. The neighbor called 911. When the officer arrived on the scene, the victim had collapsed to his knees at the end of the road and was holding his hands over the stab wound at the right upper abdomen/lower chest area. The South Georgia Medical Center ER staff was able to stabilize his condition, Dutton said.
The sword has a homemade cover consisting of a phone cord and other materials that have been wrapped around the original wooden handle, presumably to provide a better grip. The sword’s origin is unclear, but it resembles such weapons bought as “flea market specials,” Dutton noted.
The defendant apparently has “psychological issues,” compounded by a methamphetamine addiction, the officer said.
On the day of the stabbing, Derek reportedly told authorities that his father had tried to push him into the trunk of a vehicle all day and “was going to call the Bloods to come kill him.” But then Derek was remorseful at the jail and asked if his dad was still alive, according to Dutton.
Other family members maintained that Derek Vasi had fallen under a demonic influence after playing with a Ouija board, and this was evident by drawings he had made of bizarre creatures, hooded, faceless figures, a dark angel, and even a castle that his kin say was “a portal” on paper, and on doors and walls in the Church Street house. They felt this horrific experience should serve as a warning for other young people who are considering experimenting with the occult.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Allen Lawson prosecuted the case. Chief Public Defender Janice Prince represented Derek Vasi.
The State nolle prossed, or dropped, charges of aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony in consideration of Vasi’s guilty plea.