Former death row inmate David Franklin Young says he is sane enough to stand trial in the 1987 slaying of Kimberly Ember Mars but his attorneys want to prove him insane.
The attorneys have asked the Utah State Bar if they can ethically use things Young has told them to show that the killer is insane.Karen Stam, attorney for Young, asked 3rd District Judge Timothy Hanson Friday for a competency hearing. Hanson scheduled the hearing for Nov. 24.
Young opposes the hearing and wants to go straight to trial. "Mr. Young is not interested in pursuing incompetency in any way. This is not with his blessing," Stam told Hanson.
"That's right," Young muttered. Shaved completely bald, he sat shackled and handcuffed during the brief hearing.
A jury convicted Young of Mars' murder and sentenced him to die for the stabbing death of the 27-year-old West Valley woman.
But the Utah Supreme Court overturned both the conviction and the death sentence in March. The 134-page opinion cited several errors made in Young's trial. The court sent the case back to 3rd District Judge Timothy Hanson for a new trial.
Hanson has scheduled the trial for January but said Friday he might postpone it if there are problems.
"If we have to wait until hell freezes over to try this case we'll do so rather than commit any procedural error," the judge said Friday. "Given the history of this case, I won't do anything that can be viewed at a later time as inappropriate."
Young's attorneys believe several things he told them will show that he is insane. The attorneys want to meet with the psychiatrist assigned to evaluate Young and share those things.
However, they worry that such a move, taken against Young's wishes, will violate the attorney-client privilege, Stam said. Although Hanson already scheduled the competency hearing, Stam won't file a motion seeking that hearing until she has conferred with the bar.
Stam also wants another psychiatric evaluation of Young in preparation for the hearing. Dr. Lewis A. Monech evaluated Young last summer and filed his opinion on Young's competency with the court. Hanson sealed the competency report.
Young met Mars and two friends at a truck stop on Aug. 18, 1987. He later left a party with Mars. She was found murdered in her apartment the following day. She had been sexually assaulted.
Young was arrested in Illinois 10 days later driving Mars' truck.
Three weeks before Mars' murder, Young beat his estranged wife to death in Indiana. He was convicted of the murder and has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for that crime.
Young also beat his fiance to death in 1982. He was convicted of that murder as well.
Both women had the first name of Theresa.
No plea bargain
David Franklin Young said he wants to go to trial and take his chances on receiving another possible death sentence.
In a letter to the judge, Young wrote that he will not accept a "stupid" plea bargain offering him life without parole. If found guilty a second time, he said he knows a jury can either sentence him to die or sentence him to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
"I better take a chance with a jury of a less degree then (sic) a stupid plea like the state, and my attorneys said to me," he wrote.
Young also told a psychiatrist that he believes in the death penalty and life without parole - but apparently only if someone commits a crime against a member of his family.
"But that don't mine (sic) I should receive life without (parole), or life, or death."