Thomas Yanaga trial fast approaching
May 5, 2015
Paso Robles murder suspect Thomas Yanaga, who has been in and out of jail and accused of attempting to kill another person since his initial arrest, may be just two months away from standing trial for a killing that occurred in March.
Yanaga appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court Monday and pleaded not guilty to the murder of Marshall Savoy. He also denied having personally used a firearm in the killing, according to a San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office news release.
Yanaga’s trial is scheduled to begin on July 6, according to the press release. Before then, Yanaga is expected to be transferred from San Luis Obispo County Jail to Kings County, where he faces an attempted murder charge.
On March 14, Yanaga, 52, allegedly shot Atascadero resident Marshall Savoy, 32, three times in the chest. Four days later, Yanaga entered a not guilty plea, claiming he shot Savoy in self defense. Yanaga is now claiming he did not use a gun in the shooting.
On April 8, Yanaga gained release from jail after posting $1million bail. Six days later, Kings County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him, along with two other suspects, for participating in the shooting of a Hanford man during an argument over the sale of a motorcycle.
Kings County deputies charged Yanaga with attempted murder, participating in a street gang and having a new felony and committing a new offense while on bail.
In San Luis Obispo court, Savoy’s friend and witness to the fatal shooting, Ashley Moss, 25, testified that prior to the shooting, Savoy attempted to get Yanaga and his wife to stop fighting. Yanaga then went into the kitchen, put a magazine in his gun, yelled at Savoy to look at him and then shot him repeatedly, Moss said.
Yanaga told deputies that he was smoking with his wife in the garage when Savoy intruded, demanded his car keys and charged at him in the kitchen.
A trial readiness conference is scheduled for June 25 in San Luis Obispo court.