This is in response to the letter to the editor from Nathan Columbo (Times is publicly convicting Minton, Feb. 16-22), who implied that Molly Young’s parents are interested in placing blame for their daughter’s death on a third party. I knew Molly personally, but do not know Richie Minton. I also know Molly’s father and stepmother. They simply are not the kind of people who would seek to do this without a reasonable feeling that there were just too many unanswered questions in the tragic death of Molly. I was there at the inquest, and the jury apparently agreed with Molly’s family when they ruled undetermined due to a lack of evidence presented.
Speaking of the evidence that was discussed at the inquest, we heard a lot about Molly and her actions prior to her death, but there was considerably less information about Minton. One would think that the living would be able to give more direct testimony regarding the early-morning hours and the events which led to Molly’s death. Unfortunately, Richie Minton was not present at the inquest, nor has he volunteered to cooperate with police since the morning of Molly’s death. Also, Richie’s roommate, Wesley Romack, was not present at the inquest.
Let’s concentrate on what we do know. Molly was at Richie’s apartment because of a request from him that Molly come to help him. The gun belonged to Richie, and Molly was not adept with firearms. Molly was right-handed, and this is inconsistent with the left-sided entry wound. Molly was excited about starting a new job, and was looking forward to an upcoming shopping trip with friends. Molly was found beside Richie’s bed, but he reported that he did not hear a gunshot from his .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. No prints were on the gun, and no gunpowder was found on Molly’s hands. Richie was allowed to go into the bathroom to change clothes, and he was allowed to wash his hands without forensic evidence being taken first. Any novice would never have allowed this to happen before appropriate lab work was done. You will have to draw your own conclusions as to why Richie Minton was given such leeway, considering also that he works for the Carbondale Police Department. Molly’s parents were late in being notified about her death, but by the time the police arrived, Richie Minton’s parents and attorney were already present. There are other significant facts present in this case, but there is not enough room in one letter to detail all of them. Ask yourself, if the life of a close friend of yours ended in such a way, wouldn’t you at least have been at the inquest, and wouldn’t you willingly cooperate with the police?
Molly’s parents deserve answers to their questions, as do all of the citizens of Southern Illinois. Many trials have been held with far less evidence than is already known in the Molly Young case. Thankfully, the jury at the inquest saw fit to make a ruling that the cause of death was undetermined. It is now time for the legal system to do its job, and let a jury decide the real facts of the case — all of the facts. No, Molly’s family is not interested in just blaming someone else for her death; they are interested in justice for Molly.