Teen charged with murder in toddler’s death

Sign up and start posting your content at MrMikeFrost.com – Its FREE!

Dec. 26—MANKATO — A teenager is accused of sexually assaulting and fatally beating a toddler in a Mankato home in April.

Lee Wayne Young Jr., 17, of Mankato, is being tried as an adult in the alleged murder.

A 2-year-old died from traumatic injuries at an Eastport Drive apartment on April 16. The injuries were “consistent with physical blows to the head and a sexual assault,” court documents say.

Young and a 10-year-old girl reportedly were at the apartment without any adults around the time of the toddler’s death. The children, the toddler’s mother and Young’s father gave conflicting details about what happened, charges say.

The toddler’s mother told police Young was at the residence all day. Young’s father said the teen wasn’t there until later when he sent his son to check on the girl and the toddler. Both adults blamed the injuries on a dog.

The girl told police Young was at the home throughout the day and sometimes she went outside and in her room while the toddler napped. She said she went into the boy’s room to check on him and found him bleeding and cold.

Young, who was 16 years old at the time, reportedly first told investigators he arrived at the home shortly after the girl found the boy. He later claimed he arrived after police were already there. Lastly he said he carried the toddler downstairs after the girl found him unresponsive and waited 20 minutes for the toddler’s mother and his father to arrive.

Blood was found on a towel and a sheet in the residence.

Young initially was charged with second-degree murder as a juvenile. In June a Blue Earth County District Court judge approved the prosecution’s request to charge Young as an adult.

Moving such a murder case to adult court is the legal presumption, Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Todd Coryell argued.

Defense attorney Kevin O’Connor Green countered that a teenager whose brain is not yet fully developed should not be tried as an adult. Green otherwise presented few arguments against moving the case to adult court, instead stating he wanted to proceed either way.

“My client is anxious to exonerate himself,” Green said, claiming Young’s DNA was not found on the toddler’s body.

Judge Gregory Anderson ruled the defense did not provide an adequate reason to override the presumption that Young should be tried as an adult.

The judge’s ruling called the victim “particularly vulnerable and defenseless” and said there “was particular cruelty involved” in his death.

Anderson also noted Young’s “extensive juvenile delinquency record,” which includes convictions for bringing a weapon onto school property, and for fleeing from and interfering with police, and arrests for drug possession and carrying a gun in a public place.

In August a Blue Earth County grand jury indicted Young on first-degree premeditated murder and other charges including criminal sexual conduct. Only a grand jury can charge someone with first-degree murder.

Young remained in custody at a juvenile detention facility as of his last court hearing in November but was eligible for release on $1 million bail.

Young is scheduled to go on trial in October.

Source link