The Colorado Court of Appeals has issued an opinion reversing the conviction of Nathan Yager, who is serving a prison sentence for the murder of his wife Melinda in 2011. Yager pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but was convicted of second degree murder after a jury trial in November 2012.
Yager's attorney successfully argued that the trial court erroneously refused to instruct the jury on the defense of insanity.
District attorney Dan Hotsenpiller said several scenarios may unfold before the appellate court decision is made final. "The attorney general may file a petition for rehearing in the Court of Appeals, or a petition for certiorari review in the Supreme Court," Hotsenpiller said. "It is possible that the Colorado Supreme Court will decide to review this case and, if they do, they may disagree with the Court of Appeals and affirm the conviction.
"The case has NOT been sent back to the District Court at this time, and by law cannot be sent back for approximately another six weeks," Hotsenpiller said. "If no further appellate petitions are filed, the case will be sent back to the District Court for re-trial. Again, that has not happened yet."