Yates To Prison After 5th Arrest Following Acquittal

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An Onslow County man who has now been arrested five times after being acquitted of murder is headed to prison.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said Monday that 22-year-old Nickey Yates was back in an Onslow County courtroom for violating his probation by possession of a stolen firearm.

According to Lee, Yates was ordered to spend between six and eight months in prison for the violation.

Yates was found not guilty last fall of murdering his Pumpkin Center neighbor, Linda Hulsman, in 2010.

Since that acquittal, WITN's archived reports show Yates had been arrested four different times before this recent arrest.

Court calendars show Yates has another court date set for Thursday of this week on felony drug charges. The same calendars show Yates has two more court dates in July and August.


A man who was acquitted last fall of killing his neighbor back in 2010 is once again back in jail.

Nickey Yates was in Onslow County District Court this morning for a first appearance on his latest drug charge of conspiring to traffic opiates or heroin. That warrant was served on Tuesday.

Just last week the 22-year-old was arrested on three counts of trafficking heroin and released on bond.

This marks the fourth time since his acquittal that Yates has been arrested.

The judge this morning put him under a $1.1-million bond after he said Yates violated his probation from a January stolen firearms conviction.

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A local man has now been arrested three times since he was found not guilty of a murdering his neighbor.

22-year-old Nickey Yates was arrested Monday night by Jacksonville Police. He's been charged with three counts of trafficking heroin, as well as other drug charges.

It's Yates' third arrest since he was found not guilty of killing his neighbor Linda Hulsman and stealing her prescription drugs.

When WITN spoke with Yates seven months ago, he said he was going to live life right and go back to school.

Yates' defense attorney for the murder charge sat down with WITN on Wednesday. He says it's not uncommon to find a previous client back in trouble with the law.

"Any young person out there from age 20 to 30, you hope they grow up and learn from their mistakes," says Criminal Defense Attorney Scott Jack. "That's what you hope as a father and as an attorney especially for those you help."

Yates is currently on probation for a January conviction of possession of a stolen gun. He's currently in the Onslow County Jail under an $80,000 secured bond.
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22-year-old Nickey Yates has been arrested for a third time in the six months since being found not guilty of murdering his neighbor.

Yates was accused of killing Linda Hulsman, and stealing her prescription pills on November 1st, 2010. At the time, Yates was 19 years old, and the woman was strangled at her home outside of Jacksonville. The jury found him not guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and breaking and entering.

The latest charges happened during a traffic stop just before midnight on Monday. According to Jacksonville Officials, Yates and 24-year-old Michael Meadows were arrested on heroin charges.

Yates was charged with three counts of Trafficking in Heroin, Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, Distribute Heroin; Felony Conspiracy and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Officials say Yates had additional heroin concealed in his possession. He is being held at the Onslow County Jail under $80,000 secured bond.

Meadows was arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, Distribute Heroin; Felony Conspiracy and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He is being held at the Onslow County Jail under $13,000 secured bond.

In late January of 2014, Yates plead guilty to one count of possession of a stolen gun. In that case, the District Attorney's office said evidence showed the gun in question was stolen from an State Bureau of Investigation agent's vehicle. In early April, Yates was charged with Schedule III drug possession and possession of a firearm by a felon.