Local News

Apr 14, 2010 2:08 AM by Monica Quintero

Magician learns his fate

A world-renowned magician learned his fate on Tuesday. Claude Yarbrough was sentenced to five years felony probation and was then released from custody. The Distric Attorney said Yarbrough must also pay fines and restitution and perform 20 hours of community service. He is no longer allowed to use weapons in his acts of illusion.

Claude Yarbrough spoke out in court. He said, "I'm very sorry for this. I wish this hadn't happened." It happened last summer. Yarbrough apparently fired a gun into the floor of his Arroyo Grande home after a fight with his wife. Judge John Trice said, "I can't emphasize this enough. If you have any contact with your wife, I will send you to prison."

Claude Yarbrough, better known as 'Jonathan Pendragon' was half of the world famous magic duo, the Pendragons. His wife Charlotte was his partner in life and on stage. Ilan Funke-Bilu, Yarbrough's attorney, said, "I think in spite of the charges he's a gentle soul."

In a letter to Judge Trice, Charlotte Yarbrough said quote, "Claude Yarbrough is a talented, exceptional human being that the medical community failed. He went from doctor to doctor, from one expert to another, only to be given pills and no firm diagnosis or real help."

Funke-Bilu said, "She is an extraordinary victim. I usually don't see victims as poised or as strong." He went on to say, "At the same time, being so extraordinarily understanding of her husband's plight and mental issues."

KSBY News spoke with Mrs. Yarbrough late Tuesday afternoon. She compared this case to that of Michael Jackson. But she said her husband is lucky to be alive. Mrs. Yarbrough's letter also requests her husband live in quote a "weapon free" environment. But she also said she has moved on and hopes Yarbrough will respect her choice.

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