From our observation, district attorney Dan Hotsenpiller seems to be proud of his prosecution and subsequent outcome of the trial of Nathan Yager. He continues to refer to the case on every occasion possible, claiming justice has been served.
His position regarding the Yager case only fuels our questions about the DA's treatment of the murder case of Raelynn Kissner. Does the district attorney think that the life of Raelynn Kissner is less valuable or precious than that of Melinda Tackett Barton Yager? Doesn't Raelynn's family deserve the same "justice" for the loss of her life as the district attorney sought and obtained on behalf of the Tackett family?
Take a look at the facts between the case of Nathan Yager and Billy Kissner and make your own determination about "justice." Nathan Yager turned himself over to law enforcement on the day of the tragedy. With a bond set at $250,000, Nathan stayed in jail for over two years waiting for trial. This was six months longer than originally set due to action, or lack thereof, by the district attorney's office. The plea deal offered by the DA was 44 years in prison. However, now, in the case of Raelynn Kissner, a year and half after her death and with an alleged confession from Billy Kissner, charges were finally brought by the DA. With minimal time spent in jail and $100,000 bond set and met by Mr. Kissner, Mr. Hotsenpiller offered a plea deal. He offered a charge of manslaughter and an eight-year cap on a prison term.
We cannot say how justice should be served in either of these tragedies. What remedy is there for the loss, pain and suffering? We have no answer for that. However, there are a number of questions worth asking, Mr. Hotsenpiller. Let's start with whether or not the DA thinks that Raelynn Kissner's life is worth as much as Melinda Tackett Barton Yager? As victims of this crime, don't Raelynn's family and friends suffer and mourn her in their lives as much as Melinda's family suffer and mourn her in theirs? We ask this question: shouldn't the nature of the offense and the plea agreement offered be the same to anyone in the same situation? Mr. Hotsenpiller ranted on during Nathan's sentencing hearing that Nathan did not take responsibility for his actions. So does Mr. Hotsenpiller think Billy Kissner has shown more responsibility for his actions thereby deserving of the plea deal he offered? The biggest question here to the DA does "justice for all" now mean "justice for some, not so much for others?" Can we now unequivocally declare the scales of justice are no longer equal according to the district attorney of the 7th Judicial District? We should all ask ourselves, doesn't this mean we are no longer a nation of laws but of men?
We believe the biggest reason that Mr. Hotsenpiller prosecuted Nathan Yager with such a vengeance while seeming to hold Billy Kissner to a different standard of law has to do most with his own level of skill. We will continue to observe through the glass door.
Ray and Julie Yager
(Editor's note: No agreement was ever reached between Kissner and the district attorney's office and he is scheduled to go to trial in July.)blog comments powered by Disqus