Charges dismissed in Molly Young case, father still left in the dark

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Charges dismissed in Molly Young case, father still left in the dark

By Sam Beard, @SamBeard_DE

The $1 million wrongful death lawsuit against Richie Minton, filed by the attorney of the late Molly Young’s family, was dismissed Friday.

Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Charles Grace dismissed the civil case, citing Larry Young’s failure to file within the statute of limitations, meaning he did not file charges within two years after his daughter’s death.

Molly died of a gunshot wound to the head on March 24, 2012, and her death has been shrouded in controversy ever since. Minton, who was a dispatcher for the Carbondale Police Department at the time, was present at the time of her death, which was ruled a suicide.

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Young said he has not been notified by the authorities about anything regarding the investigation of the death of his daughter. He said everything he has heard has been through media reports, and the dismissal was no different.

At an April 7 proceeding, Grace said he would dismiss or proceed with the lawsuit within two weeks. Young’s attorney Charles Stegmeyer challenged the relevance of the statue of limitations formality, citing eight counts of fraudulent concealment on the part of Minton and the authorities, according to an article in the Southern Illinoisan.

“The complaint itself is outside the statue of limitations,” Stegmeyer said in the courtroom. “When was it discoverable by Mr. Young that he had a legal cause of action?”

Young said on Sunday he felt he did not have enough proof to pursue legal action against Minton because details about the case have been supressed from the start. He said he spent hundreds of hours trying to obtain records relevant to the case to discern if his lawsuit could proceed. 

“We figured out that there was a cover-up and fraudulent concealment going on,” Young said. “You can’t go into court and go, ‘He said, she said.’ You’ve got to have a document in your hand.”

He spent months getting some records, years obtaining others. There are still pieces of the investigation that neither Young nor his attorney have been given by police, he said.

Young said he did not have a comprehensive report until January 2014 because the authorities did not preform a legitimate investigation.

“I only speak if I have a document to back it up,” Young said. “The problem is they suppressed a lot of the details from the general media.”

Stegmeyer argued fraudulent concealment occurred when vital information was wrongfully withheld or misrepresented, thereby extending the time allowed to file to five years. 

He said the fraudulent concealment included Minton moving the body and wiping the gun clean of fingerprints after Molly’s death, waiting nearly six hours before calling 9-1-1 and when he did, he told the dispatcher Molly overdosed.

Young said Minton has never been interviewed under oath. The police allowed Minton to shower and wash his clothes when they arrived at the scene and never interviewed anyone from the apartment complex where Molly was found, subsequently lying by saying they did, Young said.

Grace reportedly disagreed and said these actions do not constitute fraudulent concealment, and even if they did, Young could have filed within the standard two years.

“If a police officer files a false police report on a case — which is a felony, which has a two-year statute of limitations — if that false report’s been blacked out for the two years, then how do you follow that official misconduct?” Young said. “How do you hold them [accountable] if they hide the evidence for two years?”

Young is trying to get a law passed so there would be no statue of limitation when official misconduct is involved. He said if he can get such a law passed, it will not find justice for Molly, but may prevent this type of thing from reoccurring. 

Stegmeyer said all they want is to bring the facts to a jury because they have been kept from the Young family and the public for so long.

Young is appealing the judge’s decision on the grounds of equitable tolling, which is a principle of law stating the statute of limitations shall not prevent a plaintiff from filing suit if due diligence is used, but they still do not discover the injury until after the two year period. 

“You are required to use due diligence to obtain the records, which we did, but we didn’t get them; we were refused them,” Young said. “When that happens, you are supposed to do equitable tolling.”

Sam Beard can be reached at [email protected]

 

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