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Hanford Man, 21, Gets Life for Arranging Murder of Parents

June 14, 1986|Associated Press

SAN JOSE — Showing no emotion, a Hanford man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole for having his millionaire parents killed.

Kevin Yocum, 21, appeared to be unmoved during the proceedings, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Fernandez said he cried for Yocum's parents after the trial ended.

Yocum was accused of promising part of his inheritance to three friends to kill Ray and Gayle Yocum, a prominent Kings County farm couple who were shot to death in the den of their home on Dec. 20, 1983.

An accomplice, Mark Lawson, 20, also was sentenced Friday under a plea-bargain committing him to the California Youth Authority until he turns 25. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as one of the gunmen and testified against Yocum at his retrial.

Yocum previously was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison for conspiracy and soliciting his parents' murder, but his first jury was unable to reach a verdict on murder charges. During retrial, a second jury convicted Yocum of first-degree murder in his mother's killing and second-degree murder in his father's.

Testimony indicated that Yocum first wanted to have only his mother killed but then agreed to add his father at the suggestion of a co-defendant.

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