Charges Dismissed Against Young Couple
Charges against Mary Evelyn Young and Charles Michael Young were dismissed with prejudice on May 12. The dismissal was the result of a motion entered by Prosecuting Attorney Timothy E. Haught and an order put forth by Judge Mark A. Karl.
The Youngs were charged in January 2012 with feloniously misappropriating the assets of a person over the age of 65 and forging the attestation of a notary public to the Quitclaim Deed at the center of the charges.
Additionally, Mary Evelyn Young’s third count in her indictment had stated that on or about Dec. 13, 2010, in Wetzel County, she committed the offense of uttering wherein she feloniously employed as true the above named Quitclaim Deed, when she knew the attestation of the notary public thereon was forged.
Mary Evelyn Young stated to the Chronicle last week that she and her husband were in open court for two-and-a-half years, adding, “When it was finally dropped it was done behind closed doors.”
She stated the cases against herself and her husband were a waste of tax dollars and claimed that Prosecutor Haught “tried to build a case after were were indicted.”
“Nobody wanted to listen to us,” she added.
“Nothing was done behind closed doors,” Haught stated to the Chronicle in response. Haught added that he had told the judge at the last hearing in the case that he needed time to make a decision on the case, after it was ruled that the state could not use statements made by Burton Young.
“Dismissal order is a matter of public record,” Haught noted. “The case was dismissed not because there was any exculpatory evidence, but because the court had ruled that statements could not be used, which were necessary to lay a foundation to paint a conviction. I was the one who had initiated a dismissal, based on my representation in court that I might do that.”
“When we dismiss a case we don’t have to come back to court to do that,” he added.
Haught added, “I would have taken the case to trial, had the judge not ruled that the statements of Burton Young were inadmissible, because they violated the confrontation clause.”
“What that means is, is that Burton Young died and there was not the opportunity to cross-examine him. That’s the Crawford decision. I don’t know when that was decided, but sometime after 2000 . . . Burton Young gave these statements, which implicated the defendants prior to his death. Burton Young was the one who came to the police and made allegations that the deed was forged, and then Burton Young died . . . Therefore I couldn’t proceed. We could not anticipate Burton Young was going to die, and when he did die, there went our complaining witness. Unless we can use his statements he gave, we can’t proceed. When those statements were suppressed, pursuant to the Crawford decision, so there went your case.”
As to the allegation that he built the case after the Youngs were indicted, Haught stated, “The statements Burton made were before indictment.” Haught stated the Youngs were indicted by a grand jury of 16 people, based on statements Burton Young made. “They were indicted by the grand jury, not by Tim Haught.”
“The main thing is, judges dismiss cases on their own notion. It’s all a matter of public record,” he noted.