Salinas man nearly kills wife during 12 hour attack, gets 18 year sentence

SALINAS, Calif. - A Salinas man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for a violent 12 hour attack on his wife after believing she had been cheating on him while he was incarcerated. 

The attack occurred on July 9, 2017, when 41-year-old Michael Russ and his wife were parked near Sherwood Park in Salinas. 

"Russ became enraged when she denied any infidelity. When he tried to remove her from the vehicle, Doe, who considered the car her home, refused to go," said the Monterey County District Attorney's Office. 

Russ had already been in prison for beating his wife in the past. 

This time he punched his wife in the head, turned on the child locks so she couldn't get out and told her he "knew somewhere he could take her."

"He drove to a dimly lit dead-end street in Salinas, and then began a vicious assault that lasted for twelve hours," the district attorney's office said. 

Russ repeatedly beat his wife with his fists, then a metal butane can, and a wooden cane. During the assault he also sheared off pieces of her hair with an eight-inch knife and strangled her until she could not breathe. 

The next morning the wife was found barely clothed lying on the sidewalk and unable to walk. She suffered a facial fracture and cervical spine injuries from the attack. 

Two days later, officers found Russ in Salinas. 

"The interior of his car confirmed Doe's version of events: her blood was found throughout the vehicle, from the steering wheel to the rear compartment. While being transported to the jail, Russ told officers that he thought he was going to jail for murder," said the district attorney's office. 

Russ was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He had also been arrested in Salinas on three prior occasions in 2017 for misdemeanor attacks on his wife. 

At sentencing, the judge said, there was "no question" Russ beat his wife "within moments of her life."


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