Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Accused Killer Donald Younge Appears In Third District Court In Utah In The Amy Quinton Case

On November 24th, 2009, the preliminary hearing for accused killer Donald E. Younge finally began in Third District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah. Younge is accused of stabbing Amy Quinton to death and seriously wounding Erin Warn on August 3rd, 1999. After testimony by Warn, Judge Ann Boyden on Tuesday ordered Younge to stand trial on the following ten charges.

-- One count aggravated murder
-- Two counts of attempted aggravated murder
-- Three counts of aggravated kidnapping
-- Three counts of aggravated robbery
-- One count of aggravated burglary.

Additional media story on KSL Channel 5; news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Warn testified that she had gone over to Quinton's apartment to visit Quinton's roommate, Lynn Drebes, and to drop off her cat. Warn said Drebes left the room to get more pizza and then she heard Drebes screaming. When Warn looked out, she said she saw Younge holding a knife to Drebes' throat. Warn hurried into Quinton's room and urged her to call 911, but Younge pushed his way inside and told them to hang up or he would hurt Drebes. Younge then hung up the phone. When the 911 dispatcher called back, Younge answered, saying that everything was fine and the call had been a mistake.

Younge threw a roll of duct tape onto the bed and told the women to tape themselves, first asking for their wallets. Warn got hers from the living room. Younge took it and Drebes' wallet and began to leave when Warn asked him if she could keep her identification. Younge then came back and began stabbing both Quinton and Warn. Drebes was able to pull Warn away and shove her in a closet, possibly saving her life. But after she was taken to hospital, doctors found her liver nearly sliced in half.

Lynn Drebes also testified, saying that Younge first attacked her and held a knife to her throat, hit her at least three times during the episode, knocking her into a wall twice and hitting her very hard in the head at least once. She also testified that he threatened to kill her if she didn't shut up and when she asked what he wanted, he replied "money."

Prosecutor Vincent Meister is brimming with confidence. "We're confident with what happened today. The witnesses, we think, held up well. It's very difficult testimony with a very difficult situation, but we're pleased with how they stood up today," said Meister. In contrast, Younge's attorney, Michael Misner, pointed out that there is no physical evidence linking Younge to the apartment.

Younge had previously been held in an Illinois jail facing three murder charges in the deaths of three women there, and for a sexual assault charge involving a fourth woman. The alleged victim in the sexual assault case later was found dead in an unrelated incident. But all the Illinois charges were dismissed without prejudice, because of questions about a witness's credibility. Younge was then extradited to Utah in March 2008. He will be arraigned on December 11th.

DNA has also tied Younge to a 1996 sexual assault case in Salt Lake City. Prosecutors never filed formal charges on that case because Younge was facing capital murder charges in Illinois. Younge is also included on a list of black serial killers circulating on the Web.

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