Trial in Prosser slaying delayed until May

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 18, 2014 

The trial of a man accused of killing Preston Yahne of Prosser in June has been pushed to late May.

Benton County Superior Judge Sal Mendoza Jr. accepted Robert B. McCorkindale's waiver to a speedy trial in a brief hearing Friday morning. The trial was originally set for Feb. 10.

Michelle Alexander, a second attorney assigned to the 24-year-old's defense is tied up in another case in Franklin County, said defense attorney Alexandria Sheridan.

"Between a speedy trial and a prepared defense, he's chosen a prepared defense," Sheridan said.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said he was concerned about delaying McCorkindale's trial but understood the request.

"(A delay is) difficult for the victim's family," he said.

McCorkindale is in jail under suspicion of first-degree murder and bail is set at $250,000. He claimed he met with Yahne, 22, on June 14 for a drug deal. While waiting for another person, they got into an argument and McCorkindale said Yahne attempted to stab him with a box cutter.

McCorkindale disarmed Yahne then stabbed him in the chest with another knife McCorkindale pulled from a leg strap, said documents. Yahne tried to run away, but McCorkindale got into Yahne's car and drove after him, running over him several times to make sure Yahne was dead, documents said.

Yahne's body was put in the trunk, and McCorkindale drove the next day to a gravel pit near Sunnyside and set it on fire to dispose of evidence, claim investigators.

Authorities believe McCorkindale and Yahne were in Benton County when the Prosser man was killed. His body was found in Yakima County.

McCorkindale spoke only briefly in court, answering Mendoza's questions about whether he was willfully choosing to delay his trial. McCorkindale said he was.

At a previous hearing, attorneys discussed the possibility that McCorkindale may accept a plea offer from prosecutors. That issue was not raised Friday.

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