District Attorney Greg Willis announced that Artemio Yanez, 56, of Plano, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to Murder. “Brutally stabbing an innocent victim 63 times shocks the conscience. Permanently getting this dangerously violent man off the streets allows others to live their lives in peaceful safety,” stated Willis after sentencing.
On June 8, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., Plano Police Officer Jonathan Theis responded to a parking lot in east Plano in reference to a stabbing call. On the way to the scene, dispatch notes updated that the suspect had fled in a white van and a witness to the offense was following him in his vehicle.
Officers on scene of the stabbing found a victim unconscious and bleeding out in the driver seat of his van. Other officers stopped the suspect’s van and detained Yanez, who was not wearing a shirt and appeared to have blood on his arms and cheek. A search of his van recovered a bloody 6-inch knife.
A second eyewitness came forward at the crime scene with a video of the offense he recorded while he was also in the parking lot. In the video, Yanez is observed standing outside the victim’s van at the driver side, repeatedly stabbing the man as he sat in the driver seat.
The autopsy revealed 63 stab wounds on his body. Plano detectives were unable to determine a motive behind the murder or any confrontation that appeared to take place beforehand, only noting that both Yanez and the victim appeared to be living out of their vans for an extended period.
During the punishment phase, prosecutors also presented evidence of Yanez’s violence against other inmates and detention officers while he has been detained in the Collin County jail, as well as his prior convictions, including assault bodily injury and driving while intoxicated.
After hearing all of this evidence, Judge Angela Tucker sentenced Yanez to life in prison.
Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Ashlyn Scott, Calli Bailey, and Justin Dotzel prosecuted the case, aided by District Attorney Investigator Stephanie Strickland.