Yerton sentenced to 20 years in prison
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Friday, October 12, 2012
10/12/12 at 2:45 PM
A Tulsa judge on Friday sentenced former Tulsa Public Schools teacher and administrator Robert Yerton Jr. to 20 years in prison for crimes against two boys.
A Tulsa County jury on Aug. 31 convicted Yerton, 43, of three felonies and acquitted him of two other felony counts.
Jurors imposed sentences totaling 27 years. At Friday’s formal sentencing, District Judge William Kellough ordered Yerton to serve 20 years in prison with seven years of probation.
Yerton , 43, is required to serve 85 percent or about 17 years of his prison term before he is eligible for parole or release.
Yerton on Friday continued to maintain his innocence.
At his August trial, the jury deliberated for about 12 hours before delivering an early morning verdict. During the deliberations, jurors had sent a note to Kellough, inquiring about whether sentences would run concurrently or consecutively, an indication that guilty verdicts had been reached.
When jurors entered Kellough’s courtroom to reveal their verdicts, Yerton appeared to be in distress in a gallery seating area.
Before revealing the verdict, Kellough advised jurors that Yerton had become ill and that emergency medical personnel had been contacted.
Kellough said then that court officials did not know what was wrong with Yerton but that he would be taken to a hospital.
After the trial outcome was announced, Yerton was removed from the courtroom on a gurney.
He stood trial on three counts of lewd molestation and two counts of child sexual abuse.
Jurors found him guilty of both sex-abuse counts, which involved a relative who was 20 years old when he testified at the trial. Yerton was accused of abusing him between 2003 and 2009, records show.
Yerton incurred a 12-year sentence on each of those two counts.
He was charged with molesting two boys, ages 6 and 8, on separate days in 2009 at Skelly Elementary School, 2940 S. 90th East Ave., where he was an assistant principal at the time of his arrest.
Yerton was found guilty of molesting the 8-year-old and got a three-year sentence for that crime. He was found not guilty of the molestation count involving the 6-year-old.
Yerton also was found not guilty of a charge of molesting a 7-year-old boy more than 10 years ago at Disney Elementary School, 11702 E. 25th St., when he taught there.
Yerton testified during the trial and denied allegations that he had improperly touched any of the accusers.
Former Tulsa Public Schools teacher and administrator Robert Yerton Jr.