Verdict! Young is Guilty Times Four
SAN ANGELO, TX — John Stacy Young hung his head and covered his eyes with his hand Monday morning and defense attorney Dan Hurley hugged him as Senior Judge Brock Jones read the jury’s verdict; guilty on all four counts.
Young was facing two counts of forgery, one count of theft and one count of money laundering in connection with the estate of John Sullivan.
Young was Sullivan’s criminal defense attorney for Sullivan when he was facing online solicitation of a minor and possession of child pornography. Sullivan died in his Santa Rita home in San Angelo in 2014 before the case went to trial. A day after Sullivan was found dead, bail bondsman Ray Zapata came up with a handwritten will in the back of a prayer book that left Sullivan’s $8 million estate to Young.
Judge Jones questioned each of the twelve jurors by name. He asked, “Does the verdict in the verdict sheets reflect your verdict in the case?” Each juror answered, “Yes, your honor.”
Jones then explained that this is a bifurcated trial meaning that the first part of the trial was determining guilt or innocence and the second part of the trial is the punishment phase.
Once the jury was retired, Young turned and hugged his wife who seemed deflated and shocked by the guilty verdict.
Prosecuting attorneys Jonathan White and Shane Attaway told the judge they would be ready to present their case Monday afternoon and anticipated closing their case Tuesday morning.
Defense attorneys Frank Sellers and Dan Hurley told judge Jones they had to call witnesses from out of town and would be ready to present their case after the prosecution rests.
Young faces two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on each of the four felony counts because the victim was elderly. The jury can also determine restitution. Testimony showed that there was $1.8 million not recovered from the estate while it was in Young’s possession.
Judge Jones set restitution to the estate at $1.8 million following Ray Zapata’s trial where he was found guilty of forging the will. Zapata was sentenced to six months in prison and five years probation and ordered to pay his portion of the $1.8 million.
Testimony resumes at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Tom Green County courthouse, The trial will be moved from courtroom A on the second floor of the courthouse to courtroom D on the first floor because the court needs the larger courtroom for pretrial hearings Tuesday morning.