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UPDATE: Two Babies Dead: Father Charged

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Jurors find David Yates guilty on counts one and two of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his 5-week-old twins. UPDATE: Yates sentenced to life in prison.

David R. Yates

UPDATED Tuesday, October 19, 2010 --- 11:28 a.m.

David Yates has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the death of his infant twins.

Jurors in Sauk Co. found Yates guilty on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide earlier Tuesday morning.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 19, 2010 --- 9:20 a.m.

This morning, jurors found David Yates guilty on counts one and two of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his 5-week-old twins.

Sentencing is set for 10:00 a.m.

The bodies of his twins, Tyler and Savannah, were found April 13, 2008, under his bed at his Baraboo condo. The twins' mother called police after she came to pick them up and Yates failed to answer the door.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 5, 2010 --- 10:30 a.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A police officer had a hard time keeping composure as he testified at the trial of a Baraboo man accused of killing his 5-week-old twins.

David Yates is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

Patrol Officer Mike Pichler testified Monday he went to Yates' home in April 2008 after the mother, Susan Winbun, couldn't get Yates to answer the door.

Pichler said he had to awaken the 48-year-old Yates, who was on the bed, and had to lock him in a squad after Yates picked up scissors.

Pichler then saw a foot under the bed and found the twins, which he described having an ashy tone.

The prosecution gave opening statements Monday but Yates' defense attorney deferred his opening remarks until the state rests its case.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, October 1, 2010 --- 11:15 a.m.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) -- Jury selection got under way Friday in the trial of a Baraboo man accused of killing his infant twins.

Jurors are being selected in Portage County to hear the case against 48-year-old David Yates.

Court records say the bodies of his 5-week-old twins, Tyler and Savannah, were found April 13, 2008, under his bed at his Baraboo condo. The twins' mother called police after she came to pick them up and Yates failed to answer the door.

Portage County court clerk Bernadette Flatoff says jurors will be taken to Sauk County on Sunday. Opening statements in Yates trial are expected Monday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, May 31, 2009 --- 6:10 a.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) — A jury from Portage County will hear the case against a Baraboo man accused of killing his infant twins.

Forty-six-year-old David Yates is due for trial July 20 on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Authorities allege he battered 5-week-old Tyler and Savannah Yates to death when their mother left them with him while she was at work the weekend of April 13, 2008.

Sauk County Circuit Judge James Evenson has ruled that the jury should be selected from another county because of pretrial publicity about the case.

He now has directed that the jury be picked in Portage County and brought to Baraboo for the trial.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED: Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:39 p.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A change of defense lawyers will delay the trial of a man accused of killing his twin 5-week-old girls in Sauk County.

Forty-six-year-old David Yates of Baraboo is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Authorities allege he battered Tyler and Savannah Yates to death when their mother left them with him while she was at work the weekend of April 13.

Yates was scheduled for trial next month before a judge recently allowed his lawyer to withdraw because Yates refused his advice to plead insanity.

His new lawyer David Geier took part in a conference Thursday that ended with a decision to schedule the trial June 20. It is expected to take about two weeks.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, January 6, 2009 --- 8:20 a.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A Baraboo man accused of beating his twin infants to death will get a new lawyer after refusing advice to make an insanity plea.

Attorney Mark Frank told Sauk County Circuit Judge James Evenson at a hearing Monday that after reviewing the case, he believes David Yates should plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, but Yates won't do so.

Questioned by the judge, Yates agreed to have Frank withdraw even though it will delay his trial, which has been scheduled in February.

The 46-year-old Yates is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

Authorities say he battered 5-week-old Tyler and Savannah Yates to death when their mother left them with him while she was working the weekend of April 13.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, November 6, 2008 --- 8:00 a.m.

The Baraboo News Republic reports: Sauk County's prosecutor wants to use a witness at trial who she says would testify that murder defendant David R. Yates tried to hire someone to "take out" the mother of his twin children before they could be born. Yates is now charged with battering the twins to death.

Click HERE to read article in Baraboo News Republic

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 29, 2008 --- 7:30 a.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A Baraboo man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed his 5-week-old twins.

David Yates entered the plea yesterday in Sauk County Circuit Court.

Judge James Evenson scheduled a trial Feb. 9 for the 46-year-old Yates, who is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

Defense attorney Paul Polacek was allowed three days for his client to consider making a request to have the trial start earlier.

Yates remains held in lieu of $1 million cash bond.

Authorities say Tyler and Savannah Yates died from blunt force trauma to their heads, and they also had chest injuries.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, July 25 --- 4:30pm

A Baraboo man accused of killing his five week old twins will stand trial for their murder.

David Yates had his preliminary hearing today and the judge ruled there is enough evidence to try Yates on two counts of first degree intentional homicide.

Yates was emotional throughout the hearing. At one point his lawyer needed to ask for a 15 minute break so Yates could compose himself.

That was when the pathologist described how the babies had been beaten to death.

A police officer testified that on April 13th he went to Yates' home in Baraboo to check on the welfare of his twins. The officer found Yates lying in bed... and later, the broken bodies of Tyler and Savannah under the bed.

Officer Mike Pichler said: "I saw two infants that were almost stacked on top of, they were pushed very close together."

Susan Winbun is the mother of the children. She cried for the first part of the hearing and left the courtroom when the coroner said the babies were too small for body bags and needed to be transported in cardboard boxes.

Yates remains in jail on a one-million dollar cash bond.

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Friday, July 25, 2008 --- 1:10 p.m.

The defendant David Yates has been bound over for trial. His arraignment will be Monday. His lawyer says he expects Yates to plead Not Guilty.

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David Yates is in court today for a preliminary hearing.

According to NBC 15's Zac Schultz, who's on the scene, The first person to testify was a Baraboo Police Officer. He was the first to the scene and he found the children and also had to awaken Yates who was sleeping in the bed.

Next an Ambulance Service person testified that they found no vitals in the babies.

Then the Coroner who pronounced the babies dead at the scene spoke.

The babies' mother was also in court and started crying and had to leave when the coroner described how she had to use a computer paper box not a body bag for the babies.

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Note from NBC15: After more than 800-comments posted on this story, the comment feature has now been turned off. NBC15 will update this story as it continues to unfold, including the court hearing scheduled for July 25th.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 --- 7:40 a.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A preliminary hearing date of July 25th has been set for a Baraboo man accused of killing his 5-week-old twins.

Forty-six-year-old David Yates of Baraboo appeared in Sauk County Circuit Court for the decision on when the hearing will be held to determine if evidence against him is sufficient to warrant a trial.

He faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Tyler and Savannah Yates.

Prosecutors say officers sent to his home April 13th to check on the children at the request of their mother found Yates in bed and later found the twins' battered bodies.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATE Posted Friday, June 6th --5:40 am

A Baraboo man accused of murdering his 5-week-old twins will have a hearing delayed because his lawyer had his license temporarily suspended.

Sauk County Circuit Judge James Evenson says he was notified that defense attorney Paul Polacek's name was on a list of lawyers who hadn't fulfilled continuing education requirements.

Polacek represents 45-year-old David Yates, who is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The twins were found dead at his Baraboo home.

AP

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UPDATE Posted Sunday, May 25 --- 12:45pm

Note: One of the comments below references a 911 call. That story was published on May 24 in the Portage Daily Register.

Article in Portage Daily Register

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UPDATE POSTED: Sunday, May 4, 2008 -- 6:45pm

Baraboo: Susan Bird-Winbun was recently hospitalized for a blood clot in her leg, a complication of pregnancy and stress. The pregnancy resulted in Savannah and Tyler, twins born March 7th. The stress was caused by their murder five weeks later.

The father is David Yates-and he's also the accused killer.

Susan says on Friday April 11th, she dropped the twins off at Yates' place for the weekend. She checked in the next day after work. "Went over Saturday evening, tucked the babies in."

Susan says David called at 2 in the morning. "He was feeding Savannah, and she was being loud, and he thought that I should hear it. He put the phone up to her ear and we chatted for a while."

That was the last time she knew her children were alive.

It was three weeks ago Sunday that Susan came to David Yate's place to pick up her twins. At 4 o clock no one answered the door so she went home. At 8 o clock when she came back she brought the police.

"It wasn't a situation I was prepared to enter into alone," says Susan.

Inside, Baraboo Police found David Yates passed out on his bed. Under his bed, they found the broken bodies of Savannah and Tyler. Each had died of multiple blunt force traumas-including skull fractures.

Susan says she's faced criticism over why she left the babies with Yates. In October they got into a fight that resulted in her filing domestic abuse charges. Yates eventually pleaded out to disorderly conduct, and Susan stayed with him. "He was going to anger management. It seemed to be making a difference. He hadn't put his hands on me since."

Susan has 7 and 4 year old boys from a previous marriage, and she says Yates was fine with them. "He was great with them."

She says Yates was overwhelmed when the twins were first born. "He freaked out. Being 45 and having children for the first time has got to be scary for anybody."

But she says there was no reason to keep the kids away from him. "I'm not defending him. I hate what he's done. I hate his actions. I'm very, very angry. But he was proud of his babies. And every indication that I saw is that he loved those children with every inch of his heart."

Now that Yates faces two counts of 1st degree intentional homicide, she has a different feeling. "It made me want to vomit, to see him sitting there when he should have been the one dead under the bed, not my babies."

Susan Bird-Winbun says despite the criticism she's received the Baraboo community has been very supportive. "I would definitely like to thank everybody. It makes me really proud to be a citizen of Baraboo. To know how everybody has sent food and cards and love and phone calls and prayers."

Susan says she's also donated all of the twins baby clothes and toys to two charities that originally helped her when they were born.

Mary's Closet 608 768 5820 Lauren
Grateful Hearts 608 464 7754 Mary and Sandy

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UPDATE Posted Thursday, April 17 -- 3:50pm

David Yates, the father accused of murdering his twin 5-week-olds earlier this week, appeared in Sauk County court Thursday in Baraboo. Yates is accused of two counts of first degree murder. The criminal complaint says he beat his infant twins Savannah and Tyler to death. According to the coroner's report, the babies died from blunt force brain injuries, with multiple bruises all over their heads and scrapes all over their bodies. In addition, Savannah suffered a skull fracture and Tyler suffered a broken foot.

Yates appeared via video-conference wearing a jail uniform. He showed little emotion during the brief hearing, responding to the judge with one-word answers. The mother of the twins, Susan Winbun, was in attendance.

While the criminal complaint does not specify how Yates allegedly killed the infants, District Attorney Patricia Barrett says they were either hit with something or were hit into something. In other words, she says the deaths were not accidental, and someone had to cause them.

The judge set a million dollar cash bond.

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UPDATE Posted Wednesday, April 16 --- 6:00pm

Baraboo: The father of infant twins found dead Sunday night has now been charged with their murders.

According to the criminal complaint the twins died from non-accidental multiple acute blunt force traumas. Police now say the 5 week old twins Savannah and Tyler were staying with their father David Yates last weekend.

When their mother -Susan Winbun- came to pick them up on Sunday no one answered the door at Yates' home. Eventually the mother called police and they entered the condo through the patio door.

The criminal complaint says inside they found David Yates lying on his bed. At first Yates told police he had dropped the twins off at a friend's homebut then Yates was removed from the condo and police began looking for the children.

The officer saw a single infant foot sticking out from under the dust ruffle on Yates' bed. The complaint says the babies were nearly stacked on top of each other under the bed.

They were both dead.

According to the preliminary autopsy Savannah and Tyler each suffered blunt force brain injuries, with multiple bruises all over their heads and scrapes all over their bodies. In addition, Savannah suffered a skulll fracture and Tyler suffered a broken foot.

Paul Polacek is the attorney for David Yates. He is concerned Yates is not getting his proper medication. Polacek would not say what medication Yates should be on, but he says it is for behavioral issues.

Yates has been in custody since Sunday night and Polacek says he doesn't think Yates received his medication either in the hospital or now that he's been transferred to the county jail.

Polacek says he wants to know if the medication was withheld by police in the hopes of getting an incriminating statement. He says if that's the case he would hope to get those statements thrown out in court.

Polacek would not comment on the details of the case, but we asked him how his client was doing. "That depends on what you're asking. Physically-not good. Emotionally-not good. Psychologically-even worse."

Polacek says he will be filing a motion Thursday to have the court order the police department to put David Yates back on his medication.

Yates is expected to be in Sauk County Court Thursday for a bail hearing.

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UPDATE Posted Wednesday, April 16 --- 5:30pm

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- The father of 5-week-old twins found dead in his home has been accused of killing them.

A criminal complaint filed today in Sauk County Circuit Court charges 45-year-old David R. Yates of Baraboo with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of twins Savannah and Tyler Yates.

The complaint says the babies suffered brain and other head injuries.

The complaint says the babies were found dead at their father's home Sunday after police were called by the twins' mother because she had gone to the home to pick up the children and no one responded. The babies had been at the home since Friday.

The complaint says officers entered the home, found Yates in bed and then found the babies dead underneath it.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATE Posted Wednesday, April 16 --- 4:15pm

Baraboo Police have arrested David R. Yates in connection with the deaths of five-week old infants Savannah and Tyler Yates.

Yates has been charged with the following:
Count One: First Degree Intentional Homicide of Tyler Yates
Count Two: First Degree Intentional Homicide of Savannah Yates

This case remains under active investigation by the Baraboo Police Department in conjunction with the Sauk County Coroners Office, State of Wisconsin Crime Lab and Sauk County District Attorney's Office.

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UPDATE Posted Wednesday, April 16 --- 9:10am

NBC15 has learned David Yates, that father of the twins, was taken to Sauk County Jail on a probation hold after spending two nights under police guard at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo.

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BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- An investigators says the deaths of 5-week-old twins being cared for by their father are being investigated as potential homicides based on the autopsies.

Baraboo Police Department Lt. Rob Sinden says the autopsies of Savannah and Tyler Yates are not complete but the preliminary findings suggest they may have been murdered. He declined to elaborate.

Officers who went to the home Sunday found the babies dead and their father, 45-year-old David R. Yates, in bed.

Sinden says Yates remains hospitalized Tuesday and in police custody on probation violations. He would not say why Yates was taken to the hospital.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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