Judge Linda W. Hunter on Thursday dismissed a motion to acquit Derrick Yancey of charges he murdered his wife Linda Yancey and day laborer Marcial Cax-Puluc.
Hunter also threw out the statement of Danita Huff, a friend of Yancey’s wife, who said Linda confided that her husband would kill her.
After the prosecution rested its case in DeKalb County Superior Court, Yancey’s defense attorney moved to have him acquitted of all charges, saying the state’s evidence is circumstantial.
“The blood splatters are only evidence that Yancey rendered aid to his wife,” defense attorney Letitia Delan said.
“Also the burden is on the state to disprove Mr. Yancey’s self defense claim,” Delan said about Yancey’s claim he shot Cax-Puluc because the day laborer attempted to take money form Linda Yancey and then killed her.
Assistant District Attorney Ken Hutcherson rebutted, saying the three shots to Cax-Puluc were 10 inches away – instantly paralyzing him – a victim who had no weapon.
Conflicts in evidence, however, were not enough to bring the trial an end.
“Theories are good, but have to be backed up by evidence. Grave suspicion is not sufficient. Ultimately, it’s up to the jury to decide what they feel has been proven,” Hunter said.
Nor was the evidence enough to allow the alleged statement by Huff.
“I agree with the defense that some inherent trustworthiness is needed here,” Hunter said about Huff’s testimony.
“The statement was made in a vacuum – blurted out. It’s hearsay. I can not permit a statement made nine moths prior to the incident as evidence. It would need to be more probative than the list of experts the state called.”
The jury did not hear Huff’s statement.
The defense will rest its case tomorrow after calling its remaining two witnesses – one of whom could be Yancey. Closing statements and jury deliberations are also expected to begin Friday.
If found guilty, Yancey—a former DeKalb sheriff’s deputy—faces a minimum of two life sentences.