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Attorney says Yurish 'battled demons'

April 12, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg, W.Va., attorney who represented Michael Bosworth Yurish, the man shot dead Monday by West Virginia State Police inside the home of his estranged wife, said Yurish was being treated at Chestnut Ridge Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.

Harley O. Wagner said he still is compiling reports but understands that Yurish suffered from bipolar disorder.

"The most tragic aspect to an incident like this is the carnage that is left behind for the family and loved ones," Wagner said. "Obviously, Michael was battling many more demons than any of us thought."

Yurish had no history of violence before an alleged attack on his wife last November and came from a respected family. His brother, Pete Yurish, is an assistant football coach at Shepherd University, Wagner said.

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"It would be very unfair for anyone to suggest that we should have seen this coming," Wagner said.

Wagner said he and prosecutors wanted to see how Michael Yurish responded to psychiatric treatment, and said that Yurish had been obeying a strict order that he not see his wife.

Wagner said he spoke to Yurish's family, who said Michael Yurish might have gone to his wife's house because he was upset that the weekend marked the 21st anniversary of his father's death.

Yurish's family notified Wagner of the shooting shortly after it happened.

"It was incredibly shocking," he said. "It's probably one of the saddest moments in my career thus far."

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