Bail set for teen accused in toddler’s rape and murder
Blue Earth County Justice Center, 2020
Bail has been set for a Mankato teen accused of raping and murdering a toddler this spring.
Lee Wayne Young Jr, who turned 17-years-old this month, was officially charged as an adult in Blue Earth County Court Thursday.
Friday, District Court Judge Gregory Anderson set Young’s bail at $3 million without conditions or $1 million with conditions, which include having no contact with the victim’s family or witnesses in the case. Those witnesses include Lee Young Sr., the suspect’s father, who initially attended the electronic hearing sans shirt until a court administrator chastised him.
Blue Earth County prosecutor Ryan Hansch requested a bail of $4 million without conditions or $2 million with conditions. Hansch said the high bail request wasn’t made lightly, calling Young Jr’s alleged acts “horrific,” noting that the boy appeared to have been beaten and sexually assaulted. “The facts can’t get any worse than that,” said Hansch.
Hansch asked the judge to consider Young Jr’s criminal history as a juvenile, including a felony offense for dangerous weapons on school property and fleeing a police officer. Hansch said Young Jr also has pending charges, which include, drugs, theft, and carrying a gun in a public place. Hansch said the history shows Young Jr would not be amenable to release conditions.
Young Jr’s attorney, Kevin Green, argued that the state’s bail request was absurd. He asked Anderson to set bail at an amount the family could actually afford. “I’ve never heard of a bail like this,” said Green. He suggested Young Jr, who is currently incarcerated in Olmsted County, could be monitored with GPS and live with his mother. “He’s never assaulted anybody,” said Green. “This is completely uncharacteristic of this young man.”
The judge said he believed bail was “high, but appropriate” due to the serious nature of the offense. Should Young Jr make bail, he must also abide by a number of additional conditions set by the judge. He is prohibited from leaving the state or using and possessing firearms. He must also avoid contact with his grandmother and other family members.
Young Jr. is accused of brutally beating and raping a 2-year-old boy who was in his care on April 16. The toddler was transported to a Mankato hospital where he was pronounced dead. Young’s father and the victim’s mother were in a relationship at the time of the child’s murder.