Edgar Yanez, new legal team want guilty plea thrown out

Edgar Yanez wants a judge to throw out his guilty sentence. He’s the man originally charged with murder in the 2012 crash that killed Paducah Sun delivery driver, Ezra Moffett. In 2014, he took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to lesser manslaughter charges. A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Yanez was not in court today, but his legal team was.

They insist Yanez was not the driver, and his lawyer at the time did not offer good legal counsel, and his lawyers want to re-open the case.

The intersection of Blandville and Mayfield-Metropolis roads show no signs of the 2012 crash, but inside the courtroom Edgar Yanez’s family and legal team say the guilty plea should be reversed. Defense Attorney, Tucker Richardson says the Yanez family hired him and his coworker, Russ Baldani out of Lexington.

Richardson says the family, "they wanted to seek someone else out for a second opinion."

Richardson says they saw holes in the first case. A crash scene investigator was never hired, and Yanez’s previous lawyer gave bad advice.

Baldani says in court, "in a case where a young person or any person is accused of murder and it’s a question of who was driving it’s not Monday morning quarterbacking."

Richardson and Baldani say Yanez’s first lawyer pressured him into a plea deal. Baldani argued, "if you don’t take this deal your mother will be prosecuted and likely go to prison and he accepted he deal."

Commonwealth Assistant Attorney, Raymond McGee argues they are revisiting a moot point. He says, "Yanez admitted in front of you and admitted the facts were true; that he admitted he was the driver."

The defense hopes for another hearing to turn a guilty plea to not guilty.

Tucker and Baldani say the other person in the car, Manning Shaw was the driver. Shaw’s lawyer, Jeremy Ian Smith told me Shaw was not the driver.

Judge Tim Kaltenbach said he would look over the arguments and the motions and make a decision as soon as possible if there would be another hearing with evidence.

We reached out to Yanez’s first attorney, Andrew Coiner. Coiner said in a statement, "I did the best job I could do. I’m sorry if the family is upset about the job, but the outcome I got for him (Edgar Yanez) was outstanding…. He (Yanez) certainly was not coerced. He said he was guilty twice."

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