Man charged with domestic assault after fracturing girlfriend’s eye socket

Local News

Derek Ehlers
Courtesy Cedar County Sheriff’s Office

HARTINGTON, Neb. (KCAU) – A Cedar County man has been charged with domestic abuse after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, causing a fracture to her eye socket.

Derek Ehlers, 44, was charged with the felonies of first-degree domestic assault and first-degree false imprisonment. He was also charged with the misdemeanor of disturbing the peace.

Court documents said that the child of the victim called authorities on October 7 that his mother had been assaulted saying Ehlers that “about beat her to death”.

According to an affidavit, the victim and Ehlers got in an argument on October 4. After reportedly drinking a case of beer on October 6, Ehlers resumed the argument while driving home. He took a ring from the victim, put it in his mouth, and spit it out the window.

After arriving home the victim tried to leave to retrieve the ring. When trying to get to the vehicle, Ehlers allegedly grabbed purse handle, ripping it. He then allegedly grabbed her by the arm, pulled her out, and then started to hit and kick her. He also reportedly slammed her head against the concrete and pulled her hair out.

The victim, fearing for her life, told law enforcement she tried to play dead to get Ehlers to stop. She said that she was later able to get into the house and locked herself in the son’s room. On October 7 around 7 a.m., the victim and her son left to seek medical attention.

The victim was diagnosed with a fracture to her right orbital floor, facial injury, a ruptured tympanic membrane, multiple contusions, torn muscles, and a visual disorder. She had to have surgery done on her eye socket in Sioux Falls.

Ehlers and the victim had reportedly been dating for eight years and living together for five years. Over that time, he had allegedly assaulted her four to six times.

The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Ehlers on October 8. He was arrested and booked into the Cedar County Jail. He has since bonded out.

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