A former DeKalb County deputy shot and killed his wife because of marital disputes. He then shot and killed a teenage day laborer who spoke no English and had been in the country for a month in order to cover up his crime.
In a last ditch effort to regain his freedom, Mr. Derrick Yancey appealed to the state’s highest court.
But on Monday, the Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously upheld his convictions for killing Mrs. Lynda Yancey and the man he hired to do yard work, Mr. Marcial Puluc, according to court’s opinion.
Mr. Yancey had claimed Mr. Puluc shot his wife while stealing money from her and that he had been forced to shoot the 19-year-old in self-defense.
But investigators told a different story, according to court’s opinion released Monday:
On June 8, 2008, Mr. Yancey, then a deputy sheriff assigned to security at the DeKalb County courthouse, called work and said he would not be in the next day because “he had something to do.”
The couple’s daughter said her parents were having marital problems and were talking about divorce. On June 9, Yancey went to a local gas station, where men seeking day labor jobs gathered and hired Mr. Puluc to do work around the house and yard
About 12:30 p.m., Mr. Yancey arrived at the house, and her husband instructed Mr. Puluc to mow the lawn. A little while later, Mr. Yancey called 911 and reported that Mr. Puluc had robbed and shot his wife, and that he in turn had shot the day laborer.
Although certified in CPR, Yancey allowed the 911 operator to instruct him in how to perform CPR on his wife. But investigators said they found no evidence that the man attempted CPR.
Police arrived to find Mr. Yancey in the driveway, holding his service weapon, a Heckler & Koch semiautomatic handgun. In the basement they found Mrs. Yancey and Mr. Puluc, both had been shot three times.
Mr. Yancey told investigators Mr. Puluc, the 5-foot, 3-inch tall day laborer got his Smith & Wesson service revolver from atop the refrigerator and, though the man spoke no English, ordered his wife to “give me all your money” before he shot her.
But police found no blood splatter on Mr. Puluc, but they did on Mr. Yancey’s hand, shin and clothes. The blood belonged to Mr. Yancey’s wife. They also found that shooter would have used his left hand, Mr. Puluc was right-handed.
Mr. Yancey was arrested for the double murder, but fled to Belize in Central America after being released on bond. He was later captured, tried and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.
He appealed to the state Supreme Court, claiming several errors were made at his trial. But they were rejected by the court.
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