It’s been a long road back for Marty Yavorcik. In the last eight years, the former defense attorney and one-time prosecutor candidate has been indicted twice on corruption charges in connection with the Oakhill Renaissance purchasing scandal, the second time resulting in a conviction in 2016.
Although prosecutors asked for more than a decade in prison, Cuyahoga County Judge Janet Burnside sentenced Yavorcik to house arrest and probation.
“She saw something in me, I believe, and she gave me a chance,” Yavorcik said.
But the conviction cost Yavorcik his law license and left him feeling lost.
“I was in such a depressed state in my life. I just felt like I was in this dark hole and there was no way out. I, obviously, killed my practice and my livelihood,” Yavorcik said. “I am a convicted felon. How am I going to get a job? How am I going to move forward with my life?”
A year later, after completing house arrest, Yavorcik found himself driving down Route 224 in Boardman past a yoga studio. He said something told him to stop. He did, and said it changed his life forever.
Yavorcik attends classes at Pur Yoga at least once a day, and he’s lost 60 pounds.
“I’m 45 years old today and I’m in better shape now than I was in my 20s – both mentally and physically,” Yavorcik said.
In May, an appeals court panel vacated or threw out his conviction and sentence bringing him to tears that day and lifting a burden from his shoulders. He now works as a paralegal for a local attorney and is training to become a yoga instructor, insisting Pur Yoga owner Shannon Shugart and her studio saved him.
Yavorcik said he is trying to put the last eight years behind him and focus on what he calls the chance for a new beginning.