Every family with a missing murdered loved one knows all too well how elusive justice can be-- myself included. But I cannot imagine how devastating it must be to finally have justice within your grasp only to have it slip right through your fingers.
The trial of Michael Shane Yarnell for the murder of his wife Angie had been set for September 2009. But on Monday, June 8, 2009, Mike Yarnell was sentenced to seven years in prison as part of a plea agreement for murdering his wife. Many people were incredulous over the deal made by Morgan County, Missouri Prosecuting Attorney, Marvin Opie.
As part of the plea agreement, Opie agreed to accept Yarnell's offer to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the first degree if all other charges against him were dismissed. Yarnell was originally charged with second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, first and second degree involuntary manslaughter, forgery, and tampering with physical evidence. Mr. Opie did not return a phone call at the time of this publication.
Ironically, it was the forgery charge that led to Mike Yarnell's confession years after the fact of murdering his wife Angie during what he claimed was a domestic dispute.
That Mike Yarnell is serving a prison sentence at all for Angie's murder can be attributed to the love and courageous perseverance of her mother, Marianne Asher-Chapman, and the tenacity and heart of one lone journalist, Ra'Vae Edwards, formerly a reporter for the News Tribune.
I hope you will be as outraged and horrified as I am over Mike Yarnell's plea agreement and sentence after reading how events unfolded in the disappearance and murder of Michelle Angela "Angie" Yarnell.
October 25, 2003 was the last day anyone saw 28-year-old Angie Yarnell alive. One week later, Mike Yarnell told Angie's family that she left him for another man after she failed to show up at her mother's home for her niece's birthday party.
Two weeks later, Marianne received a postcard from Angie, postmarked November 8, 2003, saying that she was on her way to Texas with someone named Gary to visit Gary's family and that she would call when they were settled. It was this postcard that proved to be Mike Yarnell's undoing.
Mike Yarnell didn't file for divorce. He knew Angie would never be coming back.