Polk Co. judge chooses not to revoke Lufkin radio personality's probation

Stephen Yates (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Stephen Yates (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Stephen Yates and his attorney in court (Source: KTRE Staff)
Stephen Yates and his attorney in court (Source: KTRE Staff)

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A Polk County district judge chose not to revoke a Lufkin radio personality's probation during a continuation of a revocation hearing Tuesday.

According to Judge David Wilson's ruling, Stephen Yates, 55, will serve out the remainder of his probation. He will be limited to one or two vehicles with an Interlock device, and he will be required to wear an ankle bracelet every time he drives.

However, Judge David Wilson still had some stern words for Yates.

"You have a flippant attitude about probation," Wilson said.

In addition to the original terms of Yates' probation, the judge ruled that Yates' girlfriend, Savanna Marberry is not allowed to stay at her boyfriend's home. Yates will also have to complete an anger management class and write a letter of apology to the process server he assaulted.

"I like to see people succeed," Wilson told Yates during the hearing. "I think you are capable. Get the pride and chip off your shoulder."

Wilson said it would have been easy to revoke Yates' probation. However, he said he sometimes sees a "glimmer of hope."

"You need to spend more time with your daughter," Wilson said. "Now's the time you can step up to the plate and be the dad you should. I'm hoping your stay in county jail has been a lesson to you."

Wilson told Yates that he wanted to see a "complete attitude change" from the Lufkin radio personality.

Yates, who had been in the Polk County Jail since March 26, was released from jail after the hearing.

Yates is currently serving a 10-year probation sentence for a felony driving while intoxicated offense that occurred in Polk County back in 2007.

On Oct. 30, 2013, Yates was arrested after Lufkin police said he threw Marberry to the ground, 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, Joe Martin, an assistant district attorney for Polk County, 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 because Yates was at the time wearing an ankle bracelet that would go off if alcohol was in his system.

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