A man represents in court accused of killing his wife

A plea hearing for John Maxey Yeager, the man charged with killing his wife Yingying “Dawn” Yu and burying her body in the Santa Cruz Mountains, was scheduled for today in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

In contrast to others in the crowded Department 34 dock, he seemed to be reasonably cheerful.

But he said nothing at all, nor did he declare his innocence or guilt.

Speaking on his behalf, Leah Gillis informed Judge Cynthia A. Sevely that she intended to request a change of the protective order in order to facilitate the dependency court procedure.

She and Deputy District Attorney O’Bryan Kenney decided that her client’s next court appearance in a criminal matter would take place on August 30 at 9 a.m.

Yeager intends to request a preliminary hearing at that time, the court was informed, even though the police claimed the accused had initially admitted to the murder.

Meanwhile, the protection order modification will continue in a different courtroom.

According to representatives of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, Yeager was seen arguing with Yu on New Year’s Eve in security camera footage.

Detective Michael Birley filed a statement with the court stating that Yeager acknowledged to strangling his wife with a rope during an interview he had with police after she failed to show up for work a few days later.

According to the coroner’s report, she asphyxiated to death.

Yeager’s ex-wife, Sunyi Chang, filed for a protective order the same day he was charged with first degree murder, felony false imprisonment, six aggravating circumstances, and an enhancement for the use of a dangerous weapon. Yeager and Chang shared joint custody of two boys.

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