Yoder Charged w/Three Counts of Murder

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Published on May 8 2013 6:06 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The suspect in a fatal stabbing in Effingham early Tuesday morning has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

51-year-old Charles Douglas Yoder is accused of inflicting a single stab wound near the heart of 52-year-old Ted L. Debany around 2am Tuesday at a residence they were sharing with Yoder's sister at 109 Lincoln Street.

State's Attorney Bryan Kibler reported that Yoder and another man had been drinking at several different establishments in the hours leading up to the stabbing.  Yoder and the other man, Clifford Arnett, went to the house on Lincoln and that Yoder's sister, Elizabeth Walters, and Debany were there.

Another man, Brock Young, said he was at the house at the time of the incident.  He said at some point Debany hit Arnett in the face and head and Arnett ran out the front door of the house with Debany in pursuit, and that Yoder then went after Debany.

Young said he heard Walters say, "My brother (Yoder) just stabbed Ted."

Walters was also interviewed.  Kibler said Walters told investigators that around the time of the stabbing Debany woke up Walters because two dogs were missing from the house and believed to be running loose.  She saw Debany was holding down Yoder on the floor because Yoder was "acting psychotic."  Walters said she went looking for the dogs and when she came back Yoder and Debany were standing outside.  Yoder, Walters said, stated he "was gonna kill Debany."  She said, "When he (Yoder) drinks, he has problems."  She also told authorities that Yoder took a knife and placed it near Debany.

Kibler said an autopsy performed on Debany Tuesday afternoon indicated the knife used in the stabbing went almost completely through Debany.

Kibler recited Yoder's considerable criminal history including prison stints in Wisconsin and Illinois for burglary and armed robbery.  He has other criminal charges pending in Effingham County.

Kibler asked that Yoder be held without bond, but had not filed necessary paperwork.  Instead, Judge Sherri Tungate ordered Yoder held under five million dollars bond.  Yoder is due back in court on May 16 for his first appearance with counsel.  He requested appointment of the public defender, saying he has no resources and has not worked for the past two months.  It's expected the case will go before an Effingham County Grand Jury on May 15.

If convicted, Yoder could be sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison, but could qualify for an extended term of 60 to 100 years, and natural life in prison is a possibility.