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Ex-deputy sheriff's murder conviction upheld | Crime

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Ex-deputy sheriff's murder conviction upheld
Crime, News
Ex-deputy sheriff's murder conviction upheld

ATLANTA -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously upheld Derrick Yancey's murder conviction.

Yancey, a former DeKalb County deputy sheriff, was found guilty in November 2010 of killing his wife Lynda and a day laborer. He received two consecutive life sentences.

Yancey appealed the conviction, saying several critical errors were made during his trial. That appeal was overturned Monday.

According to information presented in court, Yancey shot his wife and 19-year-old Marcial Puluc, a native of Guatamala he hired to do work at his home, in June 2008. He staged the crime scene to make it look like Puluc tried to rob Lynda Yancey, and claimed that he was forced to shoot Puluc in self-defense after Puluc killed Lynda.

Investigators determined Yancey's story was inconsistent with evidence they discovered. Police asked Yancey to draw a diagram of the crime scene, but he refused.

Yancey was arrested and placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor. He cut off the monitor and fled to Belize, where he was captured several months later.

In his appeal, Yancey argued that the prosecutor in his murder trial improperly referenced his refusal to draw a map of the crime scene.

A Georgia Supreme Court justice wrote in Monday's decision that "it was not improper for the prosecuting attorney to reference that evidence (the map) in closing" because Yancey was not in custody when he refused to make the drawing.

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