A 911 call in June 2008 led the authorities to the Yancey residence in Stone Mountain, Georgia. What seemed like a case of a robbery gone wrong soon turned out to be a cold-blooded double murder. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Fatal Vows: A Thin Blue Line’ focuses on the deaths of Linda Yancey and Marcial Cax-Puluc — a law enforcement officer and a worker looking to make an honest buck. So, if you’re wondering what led to them being killed, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Linda Yancey and Marcial Cax-Puluc Die?
Linda Anne Thomas was born in June 1961. She and Derrick Yancey were high school sweethearts and married in 1979. After Derrick became a sheriff’s deputy in DeKalb County, Georgia, Linda began working as a detention officer at the county jail. The couple had been married for 18 years and had two sons together at the time of the incident. Marcial Cax-Puluc was a 20-year-old Guatemalan immigrant who moved to the United States about a month prior. In June 2008, he was hired to do some housework at the Yancey residence.
Sometime in the afternoon on June 9, 2008, Derrick called 911 to report a shooting in his basement. The authorities found 44-year-old Linda and Marcial dead from multiple gunshot wounds inside. Linda had contact wounds in her chest and neck and another close-range wound in her chest. Marcial, who was found lying a few feet away from Linda, also had three gunshot wounds. While Linda was shot with a .357 revolver, Marcial suffered injuries caused by a .40 caliber handgun.
Who Killed Linda Yancey and Marcial Cax-Puluc?
Derrick told the authorities that on the morning of June 9, he picked up Marcial from a local gas station to do some work at the house. Sometime after lunch, Derrick had given Linda money while in the basement. He claimed that Marcial, who was also there, took a gun out and demanded the wad of cash. Derrick kept a .357 revolver on the refrigerator in the kitchen that he believed Marcial took when he was having lunch alone upstairs.
Derrick stated that Marcial shot Linda from about seven to ten feet away before the sheriff’s deputy pulled out a .40 caliber and shot Marcial. However, evidence indicated that the story didn’t line up with what might have actually happened. Despite Derrick saying Marcial shot from a distance, Linda’s wounds were caused by close-range gunshots. While Marcial was right-handed, the gun was found to his left. Furthermore, Derrick claimed to have performed CPR on Linda, but there was no evidence to suggest that.
Also, the authorities noticed none of Linda’s blood on Marcial’s clothes but blood spatter on Derrick’s arms and legs. Soon, he was charged with both the murders. While on house arrest awaiting trial, Derrick cut his ankle monitor and fled in April 2009. After using cash to buy a bus ticket to Los Angeles, California, he disappeared, only to be found at a bar in Punta Gorda, Belize, in September 2009.
At Derrick’s trial in October 2010, his son testified that Derrick and Linda argued constantly and that he was contemplating divorcing his wife. A family friend testified, “Linda told me on several occasions that she was upset with him (Derrick) and told me that he would shoot her and kill her.” However, the defense argued that Marcial had a motive to steal because he owed $6000 to the people that brought him into the country.
Where is Derrick Yancey Now?
The prosecution claimed that Derrick was close to bankruptcy and didn’t want to go through with a divorce. According to them, a life insurance policy of $700,000 in Linda’s name also possibly served as a motive. In November 2010, the jury found Derrick guilty on two counts each of malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Then 51 years old, he received two consecutive life terms plus five years. This meant that Derrick had to serve sixty years before being eligible for parole. As per prison records, he remains incarcerated at the Long State Prison in Ludowici, Georgia.