Man offered unusual plea deal may be headed to prison

John Yates speaking to 24 Hour News 8.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man offered an unusual plea deal that he thought was unjust may be wishing he had taken the offer.

John Yates, 50, was convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm Wednesday, a conviction that could send him to prison for a decade.

Yates made news late last month after he balked at a proposed plea deal and complained that his rights had been violated.

Prosecutors had offered Yates the opportunity to have his felony charge reduced to a lesser charge if he would agree to move out of his Kentwood home. The home was next door to the victim.

Yates also complained that one of the assistant prosecutors who worked on the case had a relationship with the victim. The assistant prosecutor in question worked at the high school the victim and his wife had attended. She said she did not know them, but admitted she agreed to work on the case after she was put in contact with the victim through mutual associates.

Prosecutor Chris Becker removed the assistant prosecutor from the case to avoid any appearances of impropriety, he said.

Yates’ trial lasted two days and a jury found him guilty as charged Wednesday.

He’s set to be sentenced next month.