Man known for fleeing police faces sentencing
Special to the Sierra Sun
A man who Nevada County authorities say has been repeatedly arrested for evading and resisting police may avoid jail time after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.
Wyatt Yoder, 32 at the time of his latest arrest in 2019, reached a plea deal last month with the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 15, according to Assistant District Attorney Bob Burns.
While prosecutors are currently pursuing charges in five separate cases against Yoder — including charges of resisting arrest, evading a peace officer, and transportation of narcotics — Burns said that the plea deal reached with the defendant’s counsel on Aug. 30 will allow Yoder to avoid prison time if he agrees to plead guilty at his sentencing hearing and enter a drug rehabilitation program operated by the Delancey Street Foundation.
Yoder’s attorney, Dorsett Michael Phillips, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Without the plea deal, Yoder otherwise faced nearly 12 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges he currently faces in Nevada County, and he could still face that sentence if he is unable to abide by the terms of the arrangement and complete rehabilitation, Burns said.
A complicating factor in the case is also that Yoder is a defendant in unrelated criminal cases in Sacramento and Yuba counties. Burns said that in order for the defendant to avoid jail time altogether, prosecutors in both of those counties must agree to drop charges against Yoder to allow him to undergo rehabilitation treatment in accordance with the terms of his Nevada County plea deal.
“He’ll now have to sell them (Sacramento and Yuba counties) on this deal as well,” the prosecutor said, adding that if either or both of the other counties decline to drop their own charges against Yoder, this would throw a wrench in the plea deal negotiated by the District Attorney’s Office. Yoder would likely face a reduced seven-year prison sentence under those circumstances, Burns said.
The prosecutor noted that Yoder has an extensive prior criminal history that contributed to the severity of the almost 12-year sentence that he faces in Nevada County. When he was most recently arrested in 2019, Yoder was accused of successfully evading police on four different occasions in a period between June 2018 and August 2019, before ultimately being arrested in South County.
In total, court records show that Yoder has faced 12 different criminal cases involving charges of resisting arrest or evading a peace officer, with four of those cases resulting in convictions.
In Nevada County, Yoder is currently being charged with driving under the influence of drugs, resisting arrest, possession of controlled substances for sale, and two cases of evading arrest, Burns said.
Held in custody continuously since his 2019 arrest, Yoder was released Aug. 30 on bond after his most recent hearing, records show.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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