May 18, 2018 — Judge Steven L. Schultz imposed the above sentence in the Delta District Court, saying. Dale Tackett, Melinda Yager’s father, and Matt Tackett, her twin brother, each addressed the Judge. Melinda Yager’s two sisters submitted written statements which were read in open Court by Dale and Matt Tackett. Yager, his mother and a friend addressed the Court. DA Dan Hotsenpiller addressed the court on behalf of the People and Deputy State Public Defender Kori Keil spoke on behalf of Defendant Yager.
The sentence imposed included a period of 5 years on parole, credit of 2,685 days for time Yager has been in custody since 01/07/2011, and restitution of $16,396.24.
Judge Schultz also denied Yager’s request to modify the Mandatory Protection Order to allow him contact with his child. He indicated such a modification would not be in the best interests of the minor child to modify the protection order at this time. Judge Schultz said to Yager it would be up to the minor child whether or not she will have contact with him. If there is any future contact between the minor child and Yager, it will need to be monitored and managed by professionals in order to assist the child with trauma due to the death of her mother and imprisonment of her father because of this conviction.
A verdict of guilty was returned against Yager to the charge 2d Degree Murder of his wife, Melinda Yager on 3/20/18 after a second trial was held in this case. Evidence was presented by many witnesses, including expert witness, family and friends, and by members of law enforcement.
The People wish to express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to the family of Melinda Yager and her friends who testified and provided support. This has been a difficult experience for them and for the entire Paonia community. An expression of appreciation to all of the law enforcement officers from all of the different agencies who were involved and testified, including Paonia Police Department, Delta County Sheriff’s Office, and CBI; and to the trial team of the District Attorney’s Office, specifically, DA Dan Hotsenpiller, 1st Assistant AG Janet Drake, Deputy District Attorney Aubrey Vila, Victim/Witness Coordinator Aimee English, and Chief Investigator Duane Morton.
Any criminal charge against a defendant is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty.