Man Heading To Trial For Wife’s Death

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MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A man from Northampton County is headed to trial for the death of his wife in the Poconos 12 years ago.

Edward Yale of Bangor appeared at a preliminary hearing in Monroe County Wednesday afternoon and he had a lot to say about the case.

State police say 12 years ago, Edward Yale beat his wife Joan to death. Her body was found at the bottom of the basement steps inside the couple's Marshalls Creek home.

But when asked, Edward Yale told reporters he didn't kill her.

"Well, I think there's a little story behind that I can't say anything, but it's all to be desired," said Yale.

Troopers say Yale's wife Joan was found dead inside the couple's home in Marshalls Creek in 2001, her body at the bottom of the basement steps. Her death then was ruled undetermined.

Last year, troopers renewed the investigation as part of an unsolved case initiative.

Yale was arrested last week.

In court a trooper testified that, based on recent evidence from a forensic pathologist, Joan's injuries were not consistent with a fall down stairs. Instead, that she was beaten.

While Edward Yale paused to answer Newswatch 16, state police testified in court that when they interviewed the 75 year old last year, his story changed quite a bit from what he first told them after his wife died 12 years ago.

During the interview in 2001, state police say Yale explained to them he found his wife with her feet at the steps.

Then last year Yale told troopers he found his wife's feet a distance away from the steps.

In what they call another inconsistency, troopers say in 2001, Yale said he found his wife at bottom of the basement steps, but in 2012 Yale told troopers he found his wife in a woodpile in the basement.

Lastly, troopers say when Yale was asked about his marriage in 2001, he told troopers that he and his wife were arguing about money and having bad times. Then last year, Yale told troopers everything was fine between he and his wife and his wife controlled the checkbook.

When reporters asked Yale if he's guilty, he replied," no."

The victim's family was also in court, her two children and her brother.

Her brother told reporters the family is thankful investigators are charging Yale with Joan's death.

Yale is in the Monroe County prison.