Former Killeen police officer guilty, gets 5 years - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

KILLEEN

Former Killeen police officer guilty, gets 5 years

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BELTON -

A Bell County jury sentenced Kirt Yarbrough Sr. to five years in prison Monday evening, with no fine.  Yarbrough has 30 days to appeal the sentence.

Former Killeen police officer 54-year-old Kirt Yarbrough Sr. has been found guilty of sexual assaulting a teenager. The jury took less than 20 minutes to reach a verdict.
 
He and his wife took the stand after Yarbrough was found guilty.  The defendant denied having sex with the teen girl.  He said he took her to the hotels to get her out of the cold, and was helping her find a safe place because she would run away from home.
 
Pictures were shown in court of the defendant and the teen at a Christmas party.  One showed him kissing the girl.
 
Yarbrough said he was highly intoxicated that night, because he had been drinking from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.   He said he didn't remember kissing her, and didn't learn about the pictures until the next day when the victim told him her mom had evidence.
 
He talked about his character and background.  Yarbrough said he'd been an officer at the Killeen Police Department for nearly 16 years, and spent 21 years of his life in the Army.  He also said he volunteered at 42 schools in KISD, and boasted helping hundreds of homeless and hungry children.
 
But the defendant admitted his inappropriate relationship brought shame upon his family and his occupation.
 
"It's embarrassing," Yarbrough said.  "I am the adult.  I should have known to back up."

Despite the evidence in court, Kirt Yarbrough's wife took the stand and defended Yarbrough.  She said everyone deserves a second chance, and asked the jury not to send him to prison.

"This man is a good man," Mrs. Yarbrough said.  "I met that little girl through Explorers.  I know how she operates."

The defendant's wife said teens can be very convincing and manipulative.  She said the teen would even call her "Mom" when she would bring home cooked meals to the Explorer meetings.

Defense attorney Anthony Griffin told jury members he did not agree with their verdict.  He asked them not to find Yarbrough guilty earlier that day, and continued to argue the teen's mom manipulated her and set up the relationship to get money.

"There's nothing worse than an old fool," Griffin said.  "This man got played like a fiddle."

But Assistant District Attorney Shelly Strimple told jurors, "That's not an old fool.  That's a dirty old man."

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