Arroyo Grande magician pleads no contest in assault case

An Arroyo Grande magician pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for threatening his wife in July.

The plea means that Claude Yarbrough, 56, won’t spend more than a year in County Jail for firing shots that missed his wife on July 8, as well as another incident in which he threatened his wife, Charlotte Yarbrough, with a firearm on July 3.

A no contest plea is similar to a guilty plea in felony cases. It results in a conviction without an admission of guilt.

Judge John Trice said that Yarbrough must meet the conditions of the plea agreement or risk a state prison sentence of 16 years and four months.

Trice also said that Yarbrough's mental health issues affected the agreed-upon sentence.

Attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu said that his client is getting treatment for those issues, which manifested over a long period of time.

Yarbrough apologized to his wife in court, saying that he was overcome by his condition and that he never meant for the incident to happen.

“I’m sorry I fell apart,” he said.

The illusionist and his wife appeared on shows including “America’s Got Talent” as part of a magic team.