New trial date set for Richland murder suspect

Tri-City HeraldJuly 23, 2013 

— An 18-year-old Richland man accused of helping fatally shoot a friend on the Fourth of July was told Tuesday that he’s to have no contact with the victim’s family.

Judge Bruce Spanner issued the order for one year in the case of John C.I. Young, adding that even if Young did not agree with it he needed to sign the document acknowledging that he got a copy.

Young’s new attorney, John Crowley of Seattle, told the court that his client has no problem with the order, which protects six people.

Deputy Prosecutor Julie Long requested it on behalf of the family of Joshua Snapp. Young and co-defendant Joshua H. Hunt, 19, are charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree murder for Snapp’s death.

Tuesday’s hearing was set so Crowley could formally replace Scott Johnson as Young’s lawyer.

Crowley said that since taking on the case almost two weeks ago, he’s “made good progress” and things are “moving along.”

He credited Prosecutor Andy Miller with sending the defense attorney a thick packet of police reports and other documents relevant to the case.

Crowley also said a second autopsy requested by the defense was completed last week.

Authorities have said Snapp was shot three times, in the chest and head. After the first autopsy was done earlier this month, Benton County Coroner John Hansens told the Herald that any of the wounds could have been fatal. The 17-year-old victim had been at an all-night party and left in the morning to go with Young and Hunt to smoke marijuana in a remote area near Richland’s Beardsley Road, according to court documents.

After firing two warning shots into the desert, Hunt took the revolver and shot Snapp in the chest, documents said. Young then allegedly shot the younger teen in the head, and the two suspects left.

Trials had been scheduled Aug. 26 for Hunt and Young.

However, Crowley told the court he has an upcoming trial in Lewis County that may last six weeks and conflicts with that date. He said he suggested a January trial, but pointed out Miller preferred a November date.

Miller told Spanner — who’s been assigned to Young’s case — that in his experience, when there’s a six-month continuances, no one works on the case for five months.

Miller said he recognizes they may have to move the trial date again, but asked to go with Nov. 18 at this point. Young and Hunt each are being held on $250,000 bail in the Benton County jail.

Hunt’s trial date remains Aug. 26 before Judge Carrie Runge. His next hearing date is Aug. 7.

w Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531;; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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