Michael Wayne York, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder last week in the Wilson County courtroom of Judge Brody Kane, for killing a Lebanon man in 2015 and received a 30 year sentence for his crime.
York, who was 31-years old at the time of the incident, was scheduled to stand trial in November of this year for the shooting death of his Lebanon co-worker 36-year-old Brian Christopher Petroff, but pled on Friday, September 23.
According to the facts presented by Assistant District Attorney Justin Harris, in the early morning hours of February 7, 2015, at the Lebanon intersection of Winter Drive and McCowan Drive, Brian Petroff was found dead inside of his vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds including two wounds to the head.
During the initial stages of the investigation the Lebanon Police Department found that the wallet of the victim had been taken. While at the scene they learned that Brian Petroff and Michael York were last seen leaving work together around midnight at Steve and Sons Door Company, where they were both employed. This would have been about an hour before the body was discovered.
ADA Harris said that still in the early morning hours, the detectives spoke to family members of Mr. Petroff who told them that the victim had an atm card for Wilson Bank and Trust. This led the detectives to check the victims transaction history. They found that multiple charges had been placed on the victims debit card after he was already deceased. Detectives then obtained videos from multiple locations where the debit card had been used. Defendant Michael York can clearly be seen using the debit card of the victim and one of the transactions happened a mere ten minutes after Brian Petroff had been shot.
Lebanon authorities obtained the address of Michael York in Macon County and members of the Lebanon Police Department and the Macon County Sheriffs Office went to the defendants residence and Mr. York was taken into custody. While there, law enforcement searched the home and found blood on the shoes of the suspect, which matched the victims after it was tested. Brian Petroff’s license was found in the pocket of York’s jeans.
Michael York was brought back to the Lebanon Police Department, where he was interviewed by detectives. York initially stated that he had received the debit card of Brian Petroff from another individual but after being confronted with the evidence against him, admitted to shooting the victim but claimed it was self defense. He also admitted using the debit card of the victim.
ADA Harris says that the state would have disputed this claim based on the proof already mentioned and also on the physical evidence at the crime scene that contradicted the defendant’s verson of events.
At the conclusion of the interview, the defendant told the detectives where to find the gun that he used to shoot the victim, the gun was also analyzed by the TBI and the gun was shown to be the one used to kill Brian Petroff.
Michael York was originally charged with criminal homicide and especially aggravated robbery in the death of Brian Petroff.
York’s sentence is to be served at 100 percent, with credit for time already served.