17 February 2008

Officer Down!

To RETURN TO ==> the Officer Down! pages on Dave's Den CLICK HERE

This is the place to enter any comments remarks, questions, etc. you may have about anything you saw on the Officer Down! pages of Dave's Den.

I welcome your input, and do thank you for sharing your views!

Dave Yaros --

This area is for discussion of all things related to the murder of Gary (Indiana) Police Officer, Lt. George Yaros. He died in the line of duty in 1981. His killer was given the death sentence, but twenty-seven (27) years later he still receives 3 hots and a cot, daily, at the Indiana State Prison.

On the Officer Down! pages of Dave's Den, one may read about the event, the trial, the appeals and review the legal opinions rendered.


Dave Yaros said...

The Officer Down! pages on Dave's Den have been updated; through 2007.

The current status of the case is, 2 time murderer Averhart will face a death penalty trial for the 3rd time.

However, in this trial, the jury is not entitled to consder the sentencing option of Life Without Parole.

A date for trial has yet to be selected.

Dave Yaros said...


On 16 May 2008 Marion County Superior Court Judge Robert Altice ruled on Rufus Averhart's, n.k.a Zolo Agona Azania, second request for a change of venue.

A change of venue is a motion seeking a change of location for trial. Averhart's motion sought to have his 3rd (death) penalty phase trial relocated from Allen County (Ft. Wayne) to Lake County (Gary). At this writing, I am not privy to the grounds Rufus advanced in support of his claim of a legal right to now have his trial conducted in Gary.

The trial proceedings are being conducted in Ft. Wayne precisely because who but Averhart himself requested (in 1981) the case be moved from Gary, due to adverse pre-trial publicity.

This motion, in my opinion, was nothing but a blatant attempt by Averhart to try and stack the deck in his favor. Both the population and environment of Gary, Indiana have changed drastically over the last quarter century, plus. Averhart feels those changes work to his advantage.

In 1981 Gary, Indiana was not the recognized "Murder Capital of the World." In 1981 the population of Gary, Indiana was not 88% African-American. One must assume Rufus is thinking, in a locale where death by homicide is but part of the daily routine, the fact of a brother taking out a cop would not be viewed as a big deal, certainly not something meriting the death penalty.

Such thinking is faulty, but it matters not. Rufus rolled the dice on this issue, and the numbers did not come up in his favor. Judge Altice, like the other judge who heard and ruled on a similar motion, denied the request. Additionally, Judge Altice set a trial date in October of this year.

Dave Yaros said...

At present Rufus' third death penalty trial is set for 20 October 2008, in Allen County (Ft. Wayne) Indiana.

Whether that date will hold, only time will tell?

Dave Yaros said...

Here is an interesting tidbit -

On 17 June 2008 someone from the People's Law Office of Chicago, IL spent a total of 1 hr., 22 mins. and 53 secs. perusing the OFFICER DOWN offerings on Dave's Den.

What makes this interesting, you might well ask? Well, the People's Law Office is the firm providing representation to Rufus Averhart, the 2x murderer, convicted of killing my uncle, Gary Police Lt. George Yaros.

Perhaps they were doing legal research in preparation for death penalty trial #3, now scheduled to commence on 20 Oct 2008? I hope they found whatever it was they were seeking, found the offerings of interest, and learned a thing or two in the process!

To attorney Michael Deutsch and staff I say, "Come back anytime. We have nothing to hide here!"

Dave Yaros said...

After learning that staff of the People's Law Office have been perusing the OFFICER DOWN offerings on Dave's Den, I decided to check them out.

The People's Law Office has a web site. The site does contain reference to their client, Rufus Averhart. Of course, there he is referred to by his New Afrikanner name of "Zolo."

Here is a portion of the reference on that site:

The other case, that of Zolo Azania, involves a militant African American man sentenced to death for an alleged bank robbery and murder.

I must admit that I am astounded at the phrasing utilized in the quoted reference!

As one who was impacted by the above referenced events, there is no question but that the Gary National Bank-Glen Park Branch was robbed on 11 Aug 1981, that Gary Police Lt. George Yaros was murdered at the scene on that day and that Rufus was present at the time.

To even begin to imply that no robbery or murder took place is not only imprecise/incorrect, given the source of the reference, it is both shameful and unethical. [And particularly insulting is the fact it is totally disrespectful of the human life that was sacrificed on that day.]

It is precisely conduct like this which lessens the image of the legal profession and gives all lawyers a bad name.

I know of what I speak, being a lawyer myself.

How say you?

Dave Yaros said...

On 23 Jun 2008, Anonymous said...

I have followed the case since it happened, and cannot imagine the pain it must be causing to see it continue.
Rufus/Zolo seems to never take responsibility for his actions, having served time in prision before he murdered and blaming the prison system for what he became.
Keep up the work and blog.Like you, I champion for beautiful Gary and correct those who have never been or know its rich history.
Thanks for the words of encouragement, and you to keep beating the drum for Gary!

Rufus is a con, in every aspect of the word! All of these do gooder websites that make him out to be a victim, make me sick. They conveniently fail to make any mention of the fact that he had taken another innocent life prior to murdering Gary Police Lt. George Yaros.

Rufus plays people to suit his own ends. On 11 Aug 1981 the end was to grab other people's cash. In 2008, the end is to stay alive.

Beside criminally ending my uncle's life on 11 Aug 1981, he also made my aunt's life a pure hell on earth. It has been such for her for the last 3 decades!

Does Rufus care, or even think about that? Based on my personal observations, I am certain he does not.

I looked him in the eye at his trial. He exhibited no emotion whatsover. His stone cold demeanor was bone chilling. With one look you knew this was an individual who would take out a fellow human like he was swatting a fly.

The scary thing is, if through his manipulations death penalty trial #3 results in a life sentence, instead of death, he will be paroled in 3 short years! Should that happen, there is no doubt shortly thereafter he shall take his 3rd victim.

Pammiejom said...

I found your site while looking for info on the old Gary of my youth. Reading about your uncle brought back memories. My father worked at Kaiser and spoke fondly of your uncle. It saddens me to see the lack of justice for such a great man. God Bless You and Yours.

Dave Yaros said...


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, and especially for the kind words regarding Uncle George. Many folk visit the web site, and some even check out the blog, but few-and-far-between are those who ever take the time to leave a comment. I do appreciate it!

As of this moment, Rufus is scheduled to be tried for the 3rd time in a few short weeks (20 Oct 2008). However, I shall have to see the event come to pass before I shall believe it.

So, just when was the "old Gary of your youth," and did you find any memories of it on Dave's Den?

Anonymous said...

I am saddened and sickened by the ruling today! Your uncle deserved better . He faithfully defended the legal system, yet today it let him, and us, down tragically. Continued prayers for you and the family

Pammiejom said...

I can't believe what he got and he could be out in 10 yrs. What happened to killing a cop is an automatic death penalty. I haven't told my dad yet, I know he will be very sad to hear this. God Bless you all.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your heartfelt comment. It is indeed appreciated.

For those who might not be aware, the scheduled Rufus Averhart death penalty trial #3, to have commenced on Monday, 20 Oct 2008, in (Allen County) Fort Wayne, IN will not be taking place.

On Friday, 17 Oct 2008, a plea agreement was reached. That agreement eliminates any need for a 3rd death penalty trial, and assures that Rufus will not have to ever again face the prospect of receiving the death penalty for the 11 Aug 1981 murder of Gary Police Lt. George Yaros ("Uncle George").

Under the terms of the plea agreement Rufus pleaded guilty to an additional charge of robbery, was found guilty, and sentenced to 14 more years in prison, consecutive to the 60 year (life with eligibility for parole) sentence he is currently serving for the murder of (Lt.) Uncle George (Yaros) while committing an armed robbery of the Glen Park Branch of the Gary National Bank.

If Rufus is compelled to serve the entirety of both sentences, he would be age 102 on release in 2055. In actual fact, he may now be first eligible for parole in the year 2018, at age 65. Without the additional 14 yr. sentence, he would be eligible for release from the Indiana State Penitentiary on parole in 2011. This is because the Indiana Criminal Code deems a life sentence (with eligibility for parole) to be a sentence of 60 years.

This plea agreement was entered into by the Lake Co. Indiana Prosecutor with the knowledge and consent of the Yaros family. The decision to acquiesce was not an easy one for the family to make. Rather, it was an acknowledgement of the realities of the circumstances.

Those circumstances are that there are no living eyewitnesses to the horrendous events of 11 Aug 1981 that could come to court and testify at trial #3 in 2008. Without those witnesses, it was quite probable a jury could find Rufus should not receive the death penalty.

Should they have decided a life sentence was appropriate, Rufus would have been eligible for parole in 3 short years, after having served a full one-half of his current 60 year (life, with eligibility for parole) sentence. Needless to say, such a prospect had to be avoided. It was, with the plea agreement, but at quite a cost to the Yaros family, and the Indiana justice system!

Lest it be forgotten, it must be noted that in 1972, at age 18, Rufus participated in the home invasion and murder of Leonard Wick, also of Gary. For that homicide he served all of 7 1/2 years! A mere 13 months after his release from the Indiana State Penitentiary for Mr. Wick's murder, he took my uncle's life while attempting to flee the scene of an armed robbery!

There is no kind/polite way to say it: Rufus is scum and deserved to die in the electric chair. Now, all one may hope is that he rots in his cell!

More information regarding this disheartening turn of events shall be made found on Dave's Den, on the Tragedy of Justice page

Dave Yaros said...

Marie Siroky said at 4:49 p.m.:

I am so saddened and outraged over the turn of events today. Know my prayers are with you.

The INDYSTAR website has a comments page, and others are as outraged who haven’t heard of this tragedy as we did.

Marie, I do appreciate it, as I know you have been following this sad circumstance as long as I, and have not been hesitant to speak your views. For that I and the rest of the Yaros family thank you, again and again!

Anonymous said...

Hastings wrote:
There is no "racially fair" jury in America that will convict or execute a black person for murdering a non-black person ... especially a white cop.

Yaros was murdered by a man who will soon be free, a man who has spent the last thiry years in prison being worshipped like a folk hero in prison by other racist black inmates because he (got away with) murdering a "pig".

Young Trooper Patrick was also recently denied justice for similar circumstances. Patrick was murdered because he stopped to help a stranded vehicle ... by a murderous thug who now also enjoys a life of respect and reverence in the "ghetto gangsta" culture embraced by the thug worship crowd.

But what should one expect. Those jurors are just "keepin' it real."
10/18/2008 11:28 AM CDT on post-trib.com

pockc wrote:
I cannot believe what I read sometimes. The jury pool was biased; TOO MUCH TIME PASSED SINCE THE CRIME. That's a good one. What's next?

Absolutely typical. Typical example of one who exploits the appeals process. AND he was already on parole for killing one person! I suppose that jury was biased too?

Good ole Rufus gets to enjoy life for another 10 years under the blanket of tax dollars and the American flag which he never did a thing to deserve! Again, TYPICAL!!

Repulsive wrote on Oct 18, 2008 6:08 AM:
"I cannot believe this stupid state! The criminal justice system is exactly what it says, justice for criminals. Azania could potentially be walking the streets as a 'free' parolee in 10 years for robbing a bank, shooting and killing a police officer! Azania should've been put to death; end of story. Instead, this smooth system called justice finds every reason not to put someone to death. Our world has become more lax and the belt isn't getting any tighter. We are spending plenty of money to feed and shelter killers. No matter who you are or what you do, think what you would want done if it were your family member, relative or friend. Shame on this state and the justice system in it. "

Bill of Fruitland Park, FL Wrote: Just remember that this is the same person who has been claiming that he was innocent or framed for 27 years!!!!! Oh yes don't forget he also had a previous murder conviction. He and his lawyers and supporters ignore that also.


In my humble opinion, it should be an automatic death penalty for killing a police officer, under any circumstances. Automatic. It also shouldn't take 20 years or more to do it. And yes, I am a "cop lover"...literally and figuratively. I'm married to one and my younger brother is also an officer. [10/18/2008 8:13:26 AM]

Mr. Lucas wrote:
If justice had been served, Azania would have been executed 25 years ago. [10/18/2008 8:38:12 AM]

Melody Ranch wrote:
This piece of trash should have been taken out 20 years ago, instead the tax payers are footing the bill for him to get an education (which he'll never use), watch cable TV and use the gym equipment to buff up. If they allow this demon to live, send him to Sheriff Joe in Arizona.......Even a tent is too good for this cop killing coward! [10/18/2008 9:13:06 AM]

E. Gephart wrote/Replying to MelodyRanch:
I agree. Any cop killer does not deserve to live. And to last this long shows our court system is even more messed up. [10/18/2008 9:16:49]

Bobby Raines wrote:
If he were were white he would have been executed 25 years ago, but again the system has let us down. What is more jail time going to prove? Our cops put their lives on the line everyday. What about the police officer's families, don't they deserve some satisfaction? Rid our country of this kind of scum. An eye for an eye. Now we the taxpayers have to pay fo this piece of s@@t to lift weights and get a bull s@@t GED so can maybe write his name. [10/18/2008 4:20:07 PM]

Millrat wrote:
This ruling is an injustice to police officers and to all of us. The death penalty was not enforced, Averhart will sadly get released, and familes are ruined forever.
Our officers deserve better...Lt. Yaros certainly deserved better in the justice system he faithfully served...too bad it did not serve him.

Rufus Averhart had already served 8 years for the "involuntary manslaughter" of a 69 year old in his home when he was 18. Released after 8 years for good behavior, he was praised as a model of rehabilitation. Yet within a year, he and accomplices robbed a bank, and as Officer Yaros responded, Averhart executed him as he lay wounded.

There is so much more to this,and Yaros family has been living with this. For the whole story, visit this site .

Tragedy of Justice [10/18/2008 5:53:42 PM]

Anonymous said...

David. I would like to thank you for all the work and time you have put into this site for my dad. It means so much to all of us and especially my two daughters who didn't get to meet there grandfather. They both have read your site and have learned what happened to there grandfather. This has been a terrible time for all of us, hard to put into words what I am feeling right now. I was reading comments from the newspaper and your site came up so I thought I would read it again. I also want to thank all those that made comments here about my dad. It means so much. Thank you again, your cousin Jane. ( If you don't remember me I'm Uncle George's youngest daughter)

Dave Yaros said...


But of course I remember you, although I doubt either of us would recognize one another after all these years! You could not have been more than 8 yrs. old the last time we laid eyes on one another.

I am humbled that you would take the time to thank me for what little I have done to honor your father's memory. He more than deserves all we can do in that regard, and after all, he was my favorite unc! It pleases me greatly that his grandchildren can, and do, turn to Dave's Den to learn about their remarkable grandfather. It also saddens me that they have to do so.

Say hi to Barb & Tim for me, and give all my best!