MOULTRIE COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Michael Yost’s murder convictions were upheld by Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday.
Officials said Yost was convicted in September 2016 of four counts of first-degree murder for the death of his ex-girlfriend, Sheri Randall. He was sentenced to 75 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. After sentencing, Yost filed a motion arguing that a per se conflict of interest existed because his court-appointed attorney, Bradford Rau, had represented the victim prior to her death. In that motion, Yost argued his convictions should be vacated.
At a hearing on May 21, 2019, Judge Hugh Finson denied Yost’s motion and the matter was then appealed by Yost. In a decision filed in May 2020, the Appellate Court of the Illinois Fourth District found in favor of Yost and remanded the case back for a new trial in Moultrie County. The State appealed the issue to the Illinois Supreme Court and arguments were held in May this year.
On Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court released an opinion that found the decision by Judge Finson proper, thereby overruling the Appellate Court and upholding the 2016 convictions.
“This case has gone on for a very long time. We still mourn with the family and friends for the loss of Sheri Randall. However, with this opinion from the Illinois Supreme Court, we hope that Ms. Randall’s family, friends, and our community can feel a sense of peace now that this legal portion of this case is behind us. We are elated with this result and wish to thank the attorneys from the Office of the Illinois Appellate Prosecutors and Illinois Attorney General’s Office for their assistance in this resolution,” said Moultrie County State’s Attorney Tracy Weaver.