Yeager pleads no contest, DePue sentencing continued |

Yeager pleads no contest, DePue sentencing continued

Joshua Yeager, a Las Vegas man who’s been charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with an accident at Cedar Ridge last year, will be sentenced at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Nevada County Superior Court.

Yeager, 23, was driving a Jeep Cherokee that crashed into a tree on Highway 174 and killed passenger, Laura Freeman, a 17-year-old student of Nevada Union High School, last September. Freeman’s friend, a 15-year-old boy who was riding in the back seat, was injured in the crash but survived the accident.

Yeager was scheduled for a jury trial on Sept. 9, but he has entered a plea of no contest to felony vehicular manslaughter as well as felony drunken driving with injury, Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Francis said.

He can get a maximum of five years and eight months in prison for his offenses, Francis said. Judge Tom Anderson is hearing the case.

“The District Attorney’s office agreed to modify one of the charges to reflect one of our arguments,” Defense Attorney Stephen Munkelt said. “So a plea of no contest was entered for vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.”

Yeager was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, Munkelt added.

In another case, sentencing was continued Thursday for Dwight DePue, a Nevada City man accused of shooting up his ex-wife’s house in May during the course of their divorce. DePue will make a court appearance at 9 a.m. Oct. 14.

“The court wanted more information about the status of the divorce case,” Deputy District Attorney James Phillips said. “He has not entered a plea yet. He has not been sentenced yet. He’s in custody.”

DePue is accused of firing at the disabled woman’s motorcycle with a shotgun and vandalizing her home in Grass Valley.

He denied 11 misdemeanor and felony charges, including discharging a firearm at a dwelling, drunken driving, resisting arrest and battery on a nurse. DePue allegedly assaulted a nurse who was drawing his blood at the hospital.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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