The court has ruled there will be a new trial for Anna Young, who was convicted of first-degree assault and interfering with a report of domestic violence after she was accused of attacking her …
The court has ruled there will be a new trial for Anna Young, who was convicted of first-degree assault and interfering with a report of domestic violence after she was accused of attacking her husband with a hatchet while he slept.
Julie St. Marie, Young’s attorney, asked the court to grant a retrial in early July, shortly after the verdict. She claimed it was needed because Young’s right to due process and a fair trial had been impacted.
St. Marie called out “repeated instances of prosecutorial misconduct” such as late disclosure of police reports and other pertinent information during the trial.
The sentencing hearing, which had been scheduled for Aug. 4, was canceled, and the consideration for a new trial was set for Friday, Aug. 11 instead. Per St. Marie’s request, Judge Brandon Mack agreed to not schedule the hearing for a new trial on the same day as the sentencing.
At the Aug. 11 hearing, the court decided in favor of St. Marie. Young’s conviction was vacated. The court granted two motions: one for a new trial, and one for contempt of court. In connection with the motion for contempt, the court imposed a $500 sanction against the state.
According to St. Marie, the admonition came after prosecuting attorney Tuppence Macintyre unilaterally released a witness mid-testimony without advising the court or defense counsel. Subsequently, Macintyre failed to disclose the unavailability of a key witness (which defense learned of for the first time in reports received during the trial), although it had been represented to the court and defense counsel that the witness would be testifying later.
“The state bears an obligation to assure a fair trial. In Ms. Young’s case, the state failed. But our justice system did not. Thanks to Judge Mack’s thoughtful consideration of…every criminal’s right to a fair trial law, justice was done,” St. Marie told The Leader in an email.
The retrial will take place Oct. 1 through Oct. 20.
Currently, Young is out of custody. She is released pretrial on a $20,000 bond.
This all began when Young, 61, was arrested Nov. 2, 2021 after she went to the Port Townsend Police Department post-assault and told them her husband had tried to kill her. Her husband, Ronald Stephens, had beaten her to it.
Prosecutors said Stephens was asleep in bed in the couple’s Port Townsend home when Young started striking him with a sheathed hatchet sometime after 4 a.m.
When Stephens, 74, woke up, Young allegedly yelled, “You’re in a dream. You’re in a dream.”
Stephens tried to get the hatchet away from Young. As she pursued him throughout the house, he eventually grabbed a frying pan off a counter to defend himself.
Stephens had multiple head wounds, a fractured skull, and a broken finger. He drove himself to the emergency room at Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center.
The trial lasted four weeks. The jury began deliberations June 22 at approximately 11:30 a.m., and less than four hours later, came back with the verdict.
“Vacating Ms. Young’s conviction can’t have been an easy decision given the enormous resources and the jury’s hard work. But it was the right decision,” St. Marie said.