VICTORVILLE — One of two brothers accused of killing a National Guard soldier from Barstow to collect on his life insurance policy has been found guilty by a jury and will be sentenced in February.
Logan Anderson Swank, 21, was convicted of murder and attempted murder Tuesday during the jury's second day of deliberations and the sixth day of trial, court records show.
Swank's brother, Wesley, 29, has pleaded not guilty to the same counts and is expected to return to court Dec. 11 for a procedural hearing. During a preliminary hearing in May, Wesley Swank was painted as the mastermind behind the scheme to lure 31-year-old friend Daniel Yarbrough to an apartment complex in Apple Valley, where he was shot twice and killed in his vehicle.
A third suspect, Thomas Bradshaw, 24, previously pleaded no contest to permitting another to shoot from a vehicle in connection to what authorities called an earlier, failed attempt by the brothers to kill Yarbrough in a Victorville drive-by shooting. Bradshaw is expected to be sentenced in January.
Yarbrough, a National Guard soldier stationed in Barstow, was killed Sept. 29, 2014. His death was preceded by a thoughtful and meticulous plan, according to authorities' testimony. Law enforcement officials allege Wesley Swank, who knew Yarbrough through the military, made himself the beneficiary to Yarbrough's life insurance policy, set up a fake email account, pretended to be Yarbrough and forged signatures.
When Yarbrough was invited to Bradshaw's Apple Valley apartment and instructed by text message to pull up to the curb, it was Logan Swank, however, who fired at him twice with a borrowed shotgun, authorities said.
Logan Swank expected to gain between $11,000 to $15,000 for his role, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Detective Mike Flores testified.
The brothers are believed to be from a family of 16 children. Their father, Richard Swank, was a former school psychologist in Pearblossom and substitute teacher in the Adelanto Elementary School District who was sentenced to life in prison plus 96 years in 2009 for sexually abusing one of his sons for years.
The son's name was not released because he was a victim of a sex crime.
At the time the brothers' arrest was announced in January, Yarbrough's sister Feticha Oliphant described how "sicken(ed" she felt, in particular because Wesley Swank attended Yarbrough's funeral and presented himself to be a best friend.
"... (H)e was sitting in the front row crying," she told the Daily Press. "He went up to view his body when it was over and touched him and walked out. He came up to me, shook my hand and told me he was sorry for what happened."
Shea Johnson may be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_Shea.