A Crystal Lake man was sentenced to 65 years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting and killing his wife and his 15-year-old sister-in-law in 2017, which he claimed was self-defense.
Ryan C. Yarber, 34, of the 100 block of Marian Parkway in Crystal Lake, was indicted on 25 counts of first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, two counts of aggravated domestic battery and two counts of endangering the life or health of a child.
Yarber originally pleaded not guilty to all charges but accepted a plea deal from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday.
As part of the deal, Yarber pleaded guilty to reduced charges of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm.
The Crystal Lake Police Department received a 911 call from Yarber around 8:02 p.m. on August 3, 2017, frantically reporting that his wife had grabbed his throat and his sister-in-law had grabbed a butcher knife.
Yarber also told 911 dispatchers that he had locked himself in his room and when he opened the door and came down the hallway, his sister-in-law had a “huge” butcher knife and tried to stab him. He said that he then shot the girl.
Dispatchers also received a 911 call from a neighbor who reported hearing loud screaming and saw a man with a gun, who had indicated his wife came at him with a butcher knife.
Officers responded to the home in the 100 block of Marian Parkway in Crystal Lake and found Yarber’s wife, Allania S. Yarber, laying on her back with blood under her head.
Officers also located Allania Yarber’s 15-year-old sister, Anniyah Reynolds, in a seated position with her body slouched against a chair. Reynolds had a 9-inch knife lying within inches of her right hand, prosecutors said.
Yarber, who was standing on the sidewalk, was detained by police who recovered a 9mm handgun in the driveway.
Paramedics pronounced both Allania Yarber, 31, and Reynolds dead at the scene.
McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a court document that detectives interviewed Yarber and he described recent marriage turmoil after discovering his wife Allania had been talking with a male co-worker.
Yarber was outside of their residence with Allania in a vehicle arguing 15 minutes prior to his 911 call to police.
The couple went inside their home and the argument escalated when Allania Yarber got “extremely mad” about Yarber arguing with her in front of her 15-year-old sister.
Yarber said that his wife grabbed him and choked him with both hands and then he grabbed Allania Yarber, saying “No, no, like this is not happening. You’re not going to choke me out, what are we doing?”
Prosecutors said that Yarber pushed Allania into the kitchen cabinet and then Reynolds, who witnessed the altercation, came into the kitchen and began yelling at Yarber and threatened to kill him.
When officers later searched the residence they observed a broken cabinet. They did not note any injuries, bruising, scratching or other markings on Yarber’s neck.
Yarber turned and ran out of the kitchen into his bedroom where he locked the door. Yarber told detectives he heard Reynolds screaming “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you.”
Prosecutors said that Yarber did not call 911 and instead loaded his 9mm handgun, which was in a nightstand, with ammunition.
Yarber put the gun behind his back and opened the door with the intention of leaving the residence, he told detectives, adding that his wife tried to stop him from leaving.
Yarber said that Allania Yarber then called Reynolds’ name and the teen girl came running at him with a knife, which is when he began shooting.
Autopsies showed that Allania Yarber had been shot five times and Reynolds had been shot three times.
Bullet trajectory analysis showed that Yarber shot Reynolds while she was seated on the ground. The gunshot wound to her face was determined to have been fired from 6 to 18 inches away.
A McHenry County judge sentenced Yarber on Friday to 65 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections following his accepted plea deal.