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Update: Thomas Yanaga given 40 years to life in prison 

– Thomas Yanaga, a 53-year-old Paso Robles man found guilty of second degree murder of 32-year-old Marshall Savoy, was sentenced on Oct. 8 to 40 years to life in state prison, according to reports.

Yanaga was found guilty of using a firearm during the murder, so he faced enhanced sentencing. Typically, second-degree murder sentencing entails a term of 15-years to life.

Original story posted Sept. 25:
– Thomas Yanaga has been convicted of second degree murder, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney. His sentencing is set for Sept 29. Yanaga faces a mandatory term of 15 years to life in state prison for the murder conviction plus an additional 25 years to life in state prison for the discharge of a firearm during the commission of the crime.

Thomas Nolan Yanaga, 52, Paso Robles

Thomas Nolan Yanaga, 52, Paso Robles

The trial concludes about six months after 32-year-old Marshall Savor of Atascadero was found dead on Yanaga’s Paso Robles property with multiple gun shot wounds. Yanaga plead not guilty at an arraignment in May. Yanaga’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, argued that he acted in self defense.

Savoy had arrived at Yanaga’s house on the evening of March 14 to visit girlfriend Ashley Moss, 26, who was living in a trailer on Yanaga’s property, according to reports. At the preliminary hearing, Moss had said she and Savoy were in the trailer she rented on Yanaga’s property in Paso Robles. She had only lived there a few days at that point. While they were in the trailer, they heard Yanaga and his wife, Joyce, arguing. At that time, she said, Savoy went to the house. She said she saw Savoy enter the front door of the house, a detail that Funke-Bilu said is false because from her vantage point looking out the door of the trailer, one could not see someone going through the front door. She said she heard Savoy yell, “You don’t touch women like that. Don’t touch women like that. I have a daughter.”

Deputy Ian McFarland said during testimony that he responded to a call from Yanaga’s wife, who said a man had gone into their home and her husband shot him. Deputy Michael DeRose said on the stand that Yanaga told him, “he didn’t mean to do it.”

Two friends of Yanaga testified that he said the night before the incident in conversation, “I always wanted to know what it feels like to kill someone.”



About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at