Early Court Actions Begin Over Case Of Man Charged With Killing Two
A judge on Thursday approved a motion by a defense attorney to obtain family history records about his client Luke Young accused of killing two people -- Acacia Colvin and Kameron Johnson -- west of Casper in August.
And Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen said he hasn't decided whether to ask for the death penalty.
Young is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault: threaten with a drawn deadly weapon.
First-degree murder is punishable by death, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or life imprisonment.
Itzen said after the motions hearing that it's too early in the case to tell whether he will ask for the death penalty for Young.
During the motions hearing before Natrona County District Court Judge Joshua Eames, Assistant Public Defender Dylan Rosalez wanted to compel -- the legal term being "subpoena duces tecum" -- the Sheridan office of the Wyoming Department of Family Services to release documents mentioning Young.
Those documents may affect how the defense will make its case.
"We need to go back three generations," Rosalez told Eames.
He said, and Eames agreed, that they don't know what they don't know and the granting Rosalez's motion may answer some questions and raise others.
The request for the records of Young's youth and family has to be broad enough to not miss details, he said. "The investigation has to be a scorched earth investigation."
In response, Wyoming Assistant Attorney General Cameron Smith, who represents the Department of Family Services, filed a motion -- "quash" -- to block their release.
"These records are confidential," Smith said.
Young seemed to be confused by thinking that these are his records, he said. Some records may mention his name, but the records themselves may not be about him specifically, he said.
The law about these kinds of records also prohibit "fishing expeditions" that cast too wide a net, Smith added.
But Rosalez said information in whatever the DFS provides probably will lead to more requests for more information, he said.
Young has been involved with the DFS since childhood, Rosalez said. "We know Mr. Young entered the custody of the DFS at an early age and went to several homes."
Itzen said if Eames grants Rosalez's request, the prosecution should have access to the DFS documents.
Rosalez objected, saying that these records would fall under attorney-client privilege.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Eames agreed to grant Rosalez's request and denied Smith's motion to quash.
The case started in the late evening hours on Aug. 9, when deputies responded to a report of a shooting on U.S. Highway 20-26 west of Casper, and located the bodies of Colvin, 19, and Johnson, 27.
Deputies began looking for Young, who was considered a "person of interest" in the case, but not yet a suspect.
The next afternoon, a resident reported suspicious activity of a person matching Young's description in the area of 7 Mile Road and 6WN Road. Young was taken into custody without incident and taken to the Natrona County jail, according to a previous Sheriff's Office news release.
Young had a warrant out for his arrest from Campbell County after failing to return from his place of employment, as he was on a work release program.