Revocation hearing for Lufkin's Stephen Yates begins

Source: Angelina Co. Jail
Source: Angelina Co. Jail
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - Stephen Yates, a Lufkin radio personality, was in a Polk County courtroom Tuesday with the hopes of his probation being upheld.

Yates is serving a 10 year probation sentence for a felony DWI in Polk County back in 2007.

On Oct. 30, 2013, Yates was arrested after Lufkin police said he threw his girlfriend, Savanna Marberry, to the ground and pushed her and grabbed her throat. He was released later that day after posting a $1,500 bail.

According to the Lufkin police report, on March 11, an officer saw a BMW M6 traveling southbound on South Timberland Drive at the intersection of Chestnut Street at 7:32 p.m. Once the officer stopped Yates, he learned about the Polk County warrant for his arrest.

The warrant was issued after the Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon learned of the assault charge.

Yates was found not guilty of the assault charge after Judge Derek Flournoy said the state did not maintain its threshold burden in regard to evidence presented in the case.

Despite the ruling by Flournoy, Prosecuting Attorney Joe Martin said that Yates still was in violation of his probation because of the alleged assault on his girlfriend as well as an assault on a man that tried to serve legal papers to Yates.

Martin also said the incident with Yates driving goes against his probation since his car was not equipped with a device to sense alcohol. Yates' attorneys argued that is a technical issue, but Yates was at the time wearing an ankle bracelet that would go off if alcohol was in his system.

Despite the claims by the defense, Judge David Wilson heard testimony from one of the assault victims, a process server named Gilberto Tinajero who recalled Yates hitting him in the head when he tried to serve him legal papers in March.

"He came at me like a crazed bat. He never gave me time to say anything," Tinajero  said.

Judge Wilson also heard testimony from multiple Lufkin Police officers who testified about the March 11 incident where Yates was pulled over for speeding in a car not equipped with a device to sense alcohol.

Officer Brad Davis said Yates was driving erratic.

"[Going] 25 over is erratic in my mind," Davis said.

Despite saying Yates was erratic, Davis also admitted that Yates was not swerving around and was able to maintain his lane.

Martin called a recorded tape of samples from 44 jail house phone calls his biggest piece of evidence. In opening statements, Martin said the tapes would allegedly show Yates talking with an associate, telling them to get a witness to lay low until the case against him was over.

Judge Wilson said before he allows the 6-minute samples into court, he would have to first listen to the entire two-hour recording before making a decision on Wednesday.

If probation is revoked, Yates will have to serve the remainder of his 10 year probation in prison.

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