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McClung called a “psychopath” at sentencing

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Robbery has regularly been stated as the motive for the death of Karen Yeager in late August, 2019.

But at Dominic McClung’s sentencing Thursday, Prosecuting Attorney Pat Lefebure told a different story.

“I don’t think this was ever a robbery or burglary,” Lefebure said. “This is a fascination of this defendant that he has finally lived out. This is something he has desired to do for a number of years, and I think, unfortunately for Mrs. Yeager, that was his target.”

McClung was a juvenile at the time of Yeager’s murder. He also was described as having a history of escapes from juvenile detention centers, with one of those escapes happening while he was in custody for Yeager’s death.

“He has a very dangerous past,” said Circuit Judge Jason Wharton, “with one of the escapes resulting in booby-trapping the residence that he was in, with the intent of causing harm to whoever entered it.”

But Yeager’s daughter, Kim Keller, who referred to McClung as a “psychopath”, told him, from her knowledge of the prison system, adult prison would be a different world: one she suggested he might not survive.

“You have been in the juvenile system,” Keller said. “You are not prepared for what is about to come your way, son. What is to come your way is, you are a maggot about to be thrown into a group of great white sharks. You are going to be at the bottom of the totem pole in the hierarchy of the prison system.”

McClung did not address the court at his sentencing hearing. His life sentence includes an eventual parole hearing. He also gets 1-5 years in prison for leaving Yeager’s body near the Fifth Street bridge in Parkersburg, after also pleading guilty in March to concealment of a human body.

A second person, Michael Leadmon, pleaded guilty in October, 2019, and is serving a 40-year prison sentence.

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