Bill Grimes Daily News
Effingham Daily News
---- — Bond was set at $5 million Wednesday for a man accused of stabbing his roommate to death earlier this week.
Judge Sherri Tungate found probable cause at Wednesday's hearing in Effingham County Circuit Court to detain Charles Douglas Yoder, 51. Yoder was formally charged Wednesday with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Tuesday morning death of Ted L. Debany, 52, outside the home at 109 N. Lincoln St. in Effingham the men shared with Yoder's sister.
Yoder is accused of stabbing Debany with the intent to kill him; knowing the act would cause Debany's death; and knowing the act created a strong probability of death or bodily harm to the victim.
While online court records had showed a Beecher City address for Yoder, Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said Yoder had been staying with Debany and Elizabeth Walters, Yoder's sister.
Debany died from a single stab wound to the torso, Kibler said Wednesday. The prosecutor added that the wound extended well into Debany's torso under the heart.
Kibler said in his probable cause statement that police were dispatched to the Lincoln Street home at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday. He added Brock Young, an acquaintance of Yoder, told police later that morning he and Yoder had been bar-hopping late Monday and early Tuesday before returning to the Lincoln Street home with a third man, Clifford Arnett.
Kibler said Young told police Debany got angry with Arnett and hit him in the face and head, then followed him out the door as he was trying to flee.
Young then told police that Yoder followed Debany outside. Moments later, Kibler said, Walters began yelling that her brother had just stabbed Debany.
Young told police he fled the home shortly after the stabbing and passed Debany on his way off the property.
Kibler said Walters told police she had been outside looking for dogs that had possibly gotten loose when she heard yelling from the direction of her home.
Kibler said Walters then told police Yoder and Debany were standing outside the home when Yoder yelled that he would kill Debany.
"No you are not," Kibler quoted Walters as saying.
Walters told police Debany was not being combative at the time of the stabbing.
Kibler cited Yoder's extensive criminal history in his request to have the suspect held without bond.
"We believe he would be a danger to the community," the prosecutor said.
Kibler said Yoder has been sent to prison six times since 1980 for crimes such as burglary, theft, armed robbery, deceptive practice, aggravated battery and intimidation. Most notably, he served more than a decade in Wisconsin prisons in connection with armed robberies in 1983 and 1989.
Yoder also faces pending charges for driving under the influence of alcohol while his license was suspended or revoked for a previous DUI conviction.
Tungate ruled that Kibler would have to file a formal petition to have Yoder held without bond. In the meantime, she set bond at $5 million and told Yoder he could face anywhere from 20 years to natural life in prison if convicted.
Yoder, who said he has only been working cash jobs recently, said he could not afford a private attorney. Tungate appointed Public Defender Lupita Thompson to represent the defendant.
Tungate set Yoder's next court appearance for 10 a.m. May 16.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or firstname.lastname@example.org.