Phillip Austin Yelvington, 35, charged in July 2009 for the stabbing death of Jason Booker, entered a blind guilty plea Friday afternoon. A blind plea means no plea bargain was reached and a judge will determine punishment.
Yelvington had already waived his right to a jury trial in November. At that time, he had the option to have a trial by judge.
Yelvington was arrested following an investigation into the July 8, 2009, stabbing death of Booker. According to Durant Police, Booker, 25, 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. The district attorney’s office originally sought the death penalty until he agreed last month to waive his right to a jury trial.
The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation on Yelvington and set sentencing for him on Feb. 4.
In other court cases, Carl Owen Reese, 26, Calera, was charged Friday with kidnapping, first-degree burglary and feloniously pointing a firearm.
According to an affidavit by Bryan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Bannowsky, Reese broke into his ex-wife’s residence, pointed a gun at her and other people, and forced her to go with him against her will.
Bannowsky responded to the call late Thursday evening on Bush Street. When he arrived, the suspect’s father was on the phone with the victim, the affidavit states, and Bannowsky told him to give him the phone so he could talk to her.
She said she was okay, and the phone disconnected and then ringed again. Reese agreed to meet Bannowsky at the Choctaw Parking Garage, according to the affidavit. Bannowsky went the garage, where he received a call from Reese, who when asked if everything was okay, replied that yes, he had sent her on her way.
Bannowsky then met Reese on Highway 70E west of Roberta Road, and he agreed to go the sheriff’s office, according to the report.
Reese, the affidavit states, said he had went to the home to talk to his ex-wife, and that she said they could leave to go talk.
Bannowsky later spoke with the woman and asked her to fill out a statement. According to the affidavit, she said Reese, who had a gun, was trying to break into the house. She agreed to go outside to try to calm him down, and when she did, he was kneeled down ready to shoot. She said they both then got in the vehicle and Reese reached for his gun. She told him not to shoot anyone and she then drove away.
They then drove to J & J Feed, according to the affidavit, and Reese wanted to meet the deputy alone, so he decided to let her go.
Reese told Bannowsky he had thrown the gun out the window, according to the affidavit, and a Calera officer later found a loaded .308-caliber rifle.
In other news, a motorcycle rider was flown to Parkland Memorial Hospital late Saturday afternoon following an accident with an 18-wheeler south of Colbert on Highway 69/75.
A medical helicopter flew to the scene to transport the victim. Additional details were not available at press time Saturday.
Also late Saturday afternoon, several area fire departments battled a grass fire on Highway 22 at Bray Road south of Bokchito. Firefighters brought the fire under control just before 6 p.m. that evening.