Witness to shooting testifies in Yanaga murder trial
September 10, 2015
A teary witness took the stand in a murder trial Wednesday and testified she saw a Paso Robles man shoot and kill her boyfriend earlier this year. [KSBY]
Thomas Yanaga, 53, is standing trial for second-degree murder. Prosecutors allege he shot and killed Atascadero resident Marshall Savoy, 32, after the victim tried to break up an argument between Yanaga and his wife.
Defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu argues Yanaga shot Savoy in self defense after Savoy charged at him. The incident occurred on March 14 at Yanaga’s home.
On Wednesday, the prosecution’s key witness, Ashely Moss, took the stand. Moss, who was living at Yanaga’s home and dating Savoy at the time of the shooting, testified Yanaga shot Savoy with a “happy smirk” on his face.
Prior to the shooting, Moss invited Savoy to Yanaga’s home, where she had moved in just five days prior.
Moss testified she did methamphetamine with Yanaga earlier that evening.
After Savoy arrived, the couple heard Yanaga and his wife yelling at each other inside the house. Savoy went inside the home to stop the fight, Moss testified.
At the time, Moss was watching from her trailer on the property, she testified. She said she heard Savoy yelling at Yanaga and telling him to treat women with respect.
Moss then ran to the back of the house and watched from a kitchen window as Yanaga walked into the kitchen, grabbed a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun from the kitchen counter, loaded the clip with a happy smirk and then shouted “Hey Marshall,” Moss testified. Yanaga then shot Savoy five times, Moss said.
During her testimony, Moss cried. She also admitted she was high while testifying during a preliminary hearing in April.
Moss testified she is sober now. But, she still has a history of mental problems, including PTSD, a brain injury and a lack of long and short term memory, Moss said.
During opening statements on Tuesday, prosecutor Charlie Blair acknowledged Moss is a very troubled young lady.
Funke-Bilu said Moss lied in her testimony Tuesday, and he would question her inconsistencies for two or three hours on Thursday. The defense attorney said he feels sorry for Moss, but she is doing a major injustice to his client, and he will not tolerate that.