Phillip Austin Yelvington, 35, was charged in July 2009 with first-degree murder after authorities said he stabbed Jason Booker, 25.
During a court hearing Wednesday, Yelvington waived his right to the jury trial, and according to court papers, he will have a trial by judge, who will determine if Yelvington is guilty, and also determine punishment.
Yelvington was arrested following an investigation into the July 8, 2009 stabbing death of Booker. According to Durant Police, Booker dialed 911 early that morning and said he had been stabbed. His wife ran next door and also called police.
When officers and emergency personnel arrived, they found Booker dead inside the home. Following an investigation, Yelvington was brought in for questioning, and according to police, he admitted to stabbing Booker.
An affidavit states that Yelvington said he was possessed by demons and in a trance when he entered Booker’s Lynnwood Drive home and stabbed him after he got out of bed. Police said that Yelvington lived next door.
Yelvington is currently serving a 10-year sentence on an unrelated drug conviction, and was brought back to Durant for Wednesday’s hearing.
The District Attorney’s Office filed a bill of particulars last summer seeking the death penalty for Yelvington if convicted, but has withdrawn that due to his agreement to waive his right to a jury trial.
The date for Yelvington’s trial by judge has not been set. His next court appearance is scheduled on Dec. 3.