Prosecutor's decision coming in Young case

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Geoffrey Ritter
Weekend Times

CARBONDALE — The prosecutors reviewing the 2012 gunshot death of Molly Young in a Carbondale apartment are planning to announce the results of their investigation soon, probably by the end of this month.

Special prosecutor Ed Parkinson said last week that he and his colleagues are completing a final review of the evidence in the case, including new lab testing and interviews conducted by the Illinois State Police. Parkinson said a public announcement of their findings and conclusions is likely by the end of January.

“The investigation is coming to a close,” Parkinson said. “We’re hoping to come to a point where we can’t go any further.”

The Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor office took over the inquiry into Young’s death in late August following a request from Jackson County State’s Attorney Mike Carr. At the time, Carr said that in spite of some lingering questions, substantial evidence in the case indicated Young may have discharged the fatal gunshot to her own head the morning of March 24, 2012.

Young’s death occurred in the bedroom of her on-and-off boyfriend, Richie Minton, who at the time was employed as a dispatcher at the Carbondale Police Department. Minton told first responders that he must have slept through the shot fired from his .45-caliber handgun. He has not been charged in connection with Young’s death, and he has not agreed to any subsequent interviews with investigators. 

The Facebook group Justice for Molly has publicly questioned some details of Young’s death, among them Minton’s 911 call hours later identifying the death as the result of a drug overdose, as well as a lack of gunshot residue on Young’s hands. Young’s family and friends also have questioned the angle of the wound and whether or not the 21-year-old Marion High School graduate could have inflicted it herself.

At an inquest in January 2013, jurors heard extended excerpts from journals Young had previously kept in which she expressed a range of suicidal thoughts. Also, a series of text messages sent from her phone in the hours before she died detailed more suicidal thoughts and attempts to overdose on pills. A final text message, sent to Minton’s roommate right around Young’s presumed time of death, expressed an intention to “shoot myself in the head.” The jury ultimately ruled the cause of Young’s death undetermined due to a lack of evidence.

Parkinson said his office’s review of the evidence has revealed a “complicated” case and that investigators will continue to offer Minton an opportunity to tell his side of it.

“We’re trying to get him to talk to us and tell us what happened,” Parkinson said.