Circuit judge delays Yost murder trial — (The Bay City Times)

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The Bay City Times

Friday, July 30, 2004

A judge granted a request from Donna Yost’s attorney to delay her murder trial, but refused to have the court pay up to $15,000 for expenses the lawyer says are necessary to launch a proper defense.

Defense Attorney Edward M. Czuprynski, who’s representing Yost free of charge, implored Bay County Circuit Judge William J. Caprathe to provide court money to bring in experts and investigators to help in Yost’s defense.

Czuprynski noted that similar expenses for the 2000 preliminary examination of the evidence against Yost were covered in district court. Yost is charged with murdering her daughter, Monique, in October of 1999. The 7-year-old died of an overdose of anti-depressant medication.

 

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A timeline of the Donna A. Yost case

By Amy L. Payne | Booth Mid-Michigan

on March 20, 2009 at 2:50 PM, updated March 20, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Feb 2, 1999: Monique Yost is allegedly sexually assaulted by a 14-year-old boy in her North Madison Avenue home.

Feb. 9, 1999: Bay City Police learn of the assault through Monique’s counselor.

Sept. 15, 1999: Prosecutors send letter to Yosts, seeking to arrange interview with Monique, and when Donna A. Yost calls they set up interview for Oct. 11.

Oct. 10, 1999: Police question Donna Yost and her husband, Lonny, but don’t treat the home as a crime scene.

Oct. 12, 1999: Detective Dean Vosler mentions that drug tests are being conducted on Monique’s blood.

Oct. 13, 1999: Lonny Yost calls police to report having found a bottle of the antidepressant drug Imipramine spilled over the floor in an upstairs room. Witnesses say pills hadn’t been there in days since Monique’s death.

Oct. 30, 1999: Tests from blood taken from Monique’s heart during an autopsy reveal an elevated level of Imipramine.

Jan. 25, 2000: Police arrest Donna Yost and prosecutors charge her with murder.

March 20, 2000: Bay County Probate Judge Karen A. Tighe orders Yost’s two other children, then ages 10 and 15, to remain in foster care.

Aug. 16, 2000: Bay County District Judge John C. Leaming rules, after a six-week evidence hearing, that there wasn’t “probable cause” that a crime was committed. He refuses to order a trial for Donna, who’s released from jail.

Sept. 8, 2000: Prosecutors appeal Leaming’s decision in Bay County Circuit Court.

April 11, 2001: Bay County Circuit Judge William J. Caprathe rules that Leaming “abused his discretion” and orders murder charges reinstated against Yost, whom Bay City police again arrest and jail.

April 23, 2001: Caprathe releases Yost from jail on a personal recognizance bond.

June 2001: Yost asks Michigan Court of Appeals to consider overruling Caprathe. The court declines.

April 20, 2003: Supreme Court rules that Yost must stand trial.

Aug. 23, 2004: Trial adjourned at request of defense. The trial was delayed two more times, in February and October.

Feb. 22, 2006: Jury selection begins in Caprathe’s court room, with ensuing trial lasting more than five weeks.

April 6, 2006: Jury finds Yost guilty of murder.

June 6, 2006: Yost proclaims her innocence as Caprathe sentences her to life in prison. She is to be housed at Scott Correctional Facility in Plymouth.

July 10, 2006: Caprathe denies Yost’s request to be released from prison on bail while she appeals her murder conviction.

Jan. 16, 2008: A panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals hears arguments from appellate attorney Gail Rodwan seeking to have Yost’s murder conviction reversed.

March 28, 2008: A Michigan Court of Appeals panel unanimously reverses Yost’s murder conviction with appellate justices E. Thomas Fitzgerald, Jane E. Markey and Michael R. Smolenski ruling that Caprathe “abused his discretion” and violated Yost’s rights by allowing certain evidence and barring other evidence from trial. They also vacate Yost’s sentence of life in prison without possible parole.

April 21, 2008: Yost asks Caprathe to free her on her own recognizance while she awaits a new trial.

April 29, 2008: Caprathe issued a written ruling denying bond to Yost.

May 20, 2008: The Bay County Prosecutor’s Office asks the Michigan Supreme Court to reinstate the murder conviction and life sentence against Yost.

May 29, 2008: Bay City attorney Edward M. Czuprynski asks Michigan Court of Appeals to overrule Caprathe’s ruling that Yost must remain in prison.

June 5, 2008: Michigan Court of Appeals declines to hear Czuprynski’s appeal.

Jan. 16, 2009: Michigan Supreme Court upholds ruling of Michigan Court of Appeals that reversed Yost’s murder conviction.

Feb. 4, 2009: Caprathe rules that Yost can be transferred to Bay County Jail while she awaits a new trial.

Feb. 9, 2009: Following an appeal by Czuprynski, Caprathe rules that Yost must remain in jail while awaiting her new trial.

Feb. 24, 2009: Following a motion by Czuprynski, Caprathe rules that he will not remove himself from presiding over Yost’s new murder trial. Chief Bay County Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt later upholds that ruling.

March 17, 2009: Caprathe rules that Yost’s new murder trial will be moved out of Bay County. He later decides to move that trial to Midland County.

March 20, 2009: Yost pleads no contest to first-degree child abuse charges, is sentenced by Caprathe to three years probation and is released from jail.