Judge to rule on Younker plea
Circuit Court Judge Gina Groh will decide in May whether to accept a plea deal agreed to by Donovan Carl “Donnie” Younker on Monday afternoon. He is charged with helping to conceal the body of Stephen J. Tamburo, Jr.
Tamburo’s son — Stephen J. Tamburo III — pled guilty in December to first degree murder in the shooting death of his father and was sentenced to life-with-mercy by Judge Groh on February 7.
Younker is alleged to have helped Tamburo load his father’s body, which was wrapped inside a rolled up carpet, into a pickup truck. His trial was scheduled to begin yesterday.
Before making sentence, Groh ordered a pre-sentencing investigation after objections were raised to the sentencing recommendation in the plea agreement.
Rosemarie Tamburo Martin, the sister of the deceased, and investigating officer State Trooper A.T. Peer both told Groh that they disagreed with the plea agreement because it didn’t include penitentiary time.
Special Prosecutor Pamela Games Neely said the arrangement calls for Younker to plead no contest to the charge of concealing a body. The one-to-five-year sentence would be suspended and Younker would be placed on probation.
Asked by Groh if she had been able to discuss the state’s case with Prosecutor Games Neely, Martin replied, “We don’t feel like we have had the opportunity to discuss the case at length.”
The judge said she would decide whether to accept or reject the plea agreement after reviewing all the evidence in the case.
Judge Groh ordered a pre-plea and sentencing investigation and said she would announce her decision at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 16. If she accepts the plea, Younker could be sentenced that day.
Younker remains free on bond.