UPDATED: Police allege Goshen father shot his own son
GOSHEN — A Goshen man on Monday, Aug. 20, pleaded innocent in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, to five separate charges — including a felony count of second-degree attempted murder — after he allegedly shot his son in the back with a handgun and told the young man he hoped he’d bleed out. The shooting followed a dispute at his home in Goshen during the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning.
Addison Superior Court Judge Helen Toor ordered Jeffrey Young, 49, held without bail following his arraignment on the charges, which included felony attempted manslaughter, felony first-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.
If convicted on the second-degree attempted murder alone, Young faces a prison sentence of 20 years to life.
Vermont State Police Det. Trooper Michael D. Notte said it was at around 3:15 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19, when he was alerted to an alleged shooting at 502 South Hill Road in Goshen, according to court records. Notte said an apparent witness, 28-year-old Dale Clement of Plymouth, told him Jeffrey Young had shot his 28-year old son, Nicholas Young of Plymouth, in the back after denying him entry into his home.
State authorities as of this writing had yet to produce a detailed report about Nicholas Young’s injuries, but Notte’s affidavit states Young was struck by a 9-millimeter round that entered his back and exited the other side of his torso. Police said the injury was not considered life threatening and Rutland Regional Medical Center had released Nicholas Young prior to his father’s arraignment.
Court records indicate Jeffrey and Nicholas Young, Dale Clement and Arianna Curtis, 22, of Hinesburg had together attended the Ciderstock festival at the Vermont Hard Cider property off Exchange Street in Middlebury on Saturday, Aug. 18. Clement left the festival first that evening, while Jeffrey and Nicholas Young and Curtis left at around 10 p.m. to pick up Clement in Burlington, according to Notte’s interviews with witnesses in the case.
After going to the North End neighborhood of Burlington, Jeffrey Young told police, he drove the vehicle back to Goshen after his son and Curtis had stepped out of the vehicle.
Curtis said she got her father to give her, Clement and Nicholas Young a ride to Jeffrey Young’s house in Goshen, where they had left the keys to Curtis’s Jeep, according to Notte’s affidavit. Nicholas had spent the past few weeks at his father’s house, according to court records.
Nicholas Young, interviewed by police at Rutland Regional, said he knocked on his dad’s door urging him to let him in to collect his things, including Curtis’s keys.
“The next thing he remembered was being shot through the door or window,” Notte states in his affidavit. “Nicholas thought he was going to die after he was shot. Nicholas said his father came out, said to him that I hope you bleed out and told him to leave.”
Clement told police that Nicholas Young warned the group there might be a confrontation with his dad, according to court records. Clement reported that Jeffrey Young eventually came to the door and yelled, “I’m trying to figure out why the (expletive) you are on my porch right now,” according to Notte’s affidavit.
When Nicholas Young replied he was there to retrieve his things, Clement alleged Jeffrey Young told his son to “get off my porch, grow the (expletive) up when you can come back like a man,” according to court records. “Why don’t you come back tomorrow to try to talk to me.”
After being refused entry, Clement said Nicholas Young warned his father to “watch out” because he was going to kick the door in, according to court records.
“Clement advised as soon as Nicholas lifted his foot to kick the door he just ‘went down,’” Notte wrote in his affidavit.
“He advised that is when he heard a bunch of shots.”
Clement told police Jeffrey Young was “shooting crazy through the bottom of the door,” according to court records.
Nicholas Young was able to hobble off the porch, whereupon he, Clement and Curtis ran and hid behind Curtis’s Jeep, according to Notte’s affidavit.
Curtis told police she believed Jeffrey Young was drunk at the time, according to court records.
“(Curtis) said Nicholas was freaking out and asked for the keys as he thought he was going to die,” Notte wrote in his affidavit. “(Curtis) advised Jeffrey stated, ‘(expletive) you guys, I should kill you all here, bleed out; I’m going to watch you bleed to death.”
According to court records, Curtis further told police Jeffrey Young eventually came out of his home holding a handgun approximately eight feet from his son’s head, saying ‘he was going to shoot him in the head.’”
When Jeffrey Young took a look at his son’s back, he told Curtis to go inside his home to retrieve her keys and take him to the hospital, according to court records.
SHOT THROUGH DOOR
Jeffrey Young is alleged to have told Vermont State Police Sgt. Matthew Daley at the scene, “yep, right through the door, (expletive) him, (expletive) him,” according to Notte’s affidavit. “I knew who it was; I knew what I was doing.”
But the jury is still out on that assertion, according to Jeffrey Young’s attorney, Peter Langrock of Middlebury.
“Obviously, he was in his home and somebody was trying to break in the front door,” Langrock said during a Tuesday morning phone interview. “Exactly what went on beyond that, I’m sure there’s a variety of people talking about what transpired, but I really can’t say where that’s coming down at this point.”
Addison County State’s Attorney Dennis Wygmans said the investigation thus far indicates Jeffrey Young did know what he was doing:
“The defendant did state initially that he knew it was his son, and that he shot him.”
He said on Monday it remained unclear as to whether any of the parties involved in the case were intoxicated at the time of the incident.
State police said they later found eight spent handgun caliber casings on the floor of the home, as well as “numerous bullet holes in the front window and door to the residence,” according to court records. Their search also yielded a black Heckler and Koch 9-millimeter handgun and another “older-style handgun,” according to Notte.
A check of Jeffrey Young’s criminal history reveals this isn’t the first time Young has allegedly shot someone. Young pleaded innocent on April 16, 2009, to a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly shot Pedro Magana several times in the lower legs in Goshen on April 8, 2009. Young — who was a companion of Magana’s estranged wife at the time — argued his actions were in self-defense and in defense of others at the scene.
That aggravated assault charge was dismissed on July 20, 2010, according to court records.
Addison County State’s Attorney Dennis Wygmans said Jeffrey Young is next expected in court on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
This story was originally posted on Monday, August 20. It has been updated with additional reporting since then.
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