State’s attorney and coroner’s races could impact future of Molly Young case

By Keaton Yates, Staff Reporter

Molly Young’s death has made its way into local political discussions once again as voters will select a new Jackson County state’s attorney and coroner on Nov. 3.

Joe Cervantez and Alex Crawshaw are attempting to unseat Jackson County’s current coroner and states attorney, Thomas Kupferer and Mike Carr, both of whom held office when Molly Young died in 2012.

Larry Young, Molly Young’s father, uses the Facebook group “Justice for Molly”, which has over 22,000 members, to campaign on behalf of Crawshaw and Cervantez. Green and white signs are still up in people’s front yards saying “Justice for Molly” with the website URL to her father’s website.


Vote Joe Cervantez for Jackson County State’s Attorney & Alex Crawshaw for Jackson County Coroner. They both are part of the solution,” Young says at the top of the page. “Incumbents Mike Carr and Tom Kupferer are part of the problem.”

In 2012, 22-year-old Molly Young was found dead in her ex-boyfriend Richard “Richie” Minton’s apartment in Carbondale. Thomas Kupferer was called to the scene and  Carr was assigned to the case.

Molly was shot around 4:45 a.m., according to Kupferer. Minton said he did not wake up when the shot went off and called 911 four hours later when he woke up.

There was a massive gunshot at the top left side of Molly’s head at a downward angle, Young said

At 9:03 a.m. Minton called 911 and reported Molly as dead due to a drug overdose. At 9:10 a.m. Minton called back and told Amber Pellegrini, a dispatcher, to send a sergeant to his apartment because he discovered Molly had been shot.

In the Cause and Manner of Death document, Molly’s death was decided undetermined and an accident by Dr. Kupferer, who was under the jury, usually about 12 people chosen by the coroner out of a larger group of people to decide a verdict. It reads Kupferer said there was no blood present.

Carr decided not to prosecute Minton and Molly’s cause of death remains undetermined.


Since Molly’s death, Larry Young has demanded answers from Carr and Kupferer but received none, which is why he said he is campaigning for Crawshaw and Cervantez.

 “I will never never forget state’s attorney Mike Carr telling me on July 1, 2013 ‘if you keep pushing this I will close this case’,” Larry Young said. “According to this ISP letter I received dated July 15, 2013 ‘the Jackson County state’s attorney closed the case’. After overwhelming public outcry, State’s attorney Mike Carr then held a press conference and denied he told ISP that.”

Cervantez said if he were in the position of the state’s attorney at that time, from what he knows about the case, he would have prosecuted Minton because of probable cause.

“I would have prosecuted him,”Cervantez said. “I think it’s clear that there was probable cause for an arrest.”

Carr said in a Sept. 24 interview with the Daily Egyptian he cannot speak on Molly’s case because he’s been recused from that case and did not want to use it to campaign, and Kupferer said that much of the investigation was out of the jurisdiction of his office. 

“I had no input after [cause of death determination], it was the jury’s decision,” Kupferer said.

Larry Young said the case is still open and is waiting for further evidence to surface, and there has not been a grand jury convened in her case.

“Cervantez and Crawshaw will [do their job] because they have no conflict of interest as Carr and Kupferer apparently do,” Larry Young said.

Larry Young said he is endorsing Cervantez because he is a fair person.

“I didn’t realize there would be a refusal to due process like it’s supposed to be done, especially when we have the records, the proof and the facts of the case and they still won’t do the right thing,” Larry Young said. “I believe Joe Cervantez and Alex Crashaw will do the right thing.”

Staff reporter Keaton Yates can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @keatsians.

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