“You denied me a future relationship with my father…and by your decision to burn his house, you destroyed any mementos of my father that I might have been able to keep,” Marty Martin told Jonathan Young last Friday in Monroe Circuit Court during the final sentencing, which followed Young’s earlier conviction for the murder of Marty Martin’s father, Thomas “Max” Martin.
Young had been found guilty, after a three-day jury trial in May, on charges of murder, second-degree arson and first-degree robbery related to the death in August 2010 of “Max” Martin and the subsequent burning of his house and body. Another man charged in the slaying, Jesse Parke, is still awaiting trial.
Following Young’s conviction, the jury recommended sentences of 25 years on the murder charge and 20 each on the arson and robbery charges to run “concurrently,” meaning that Young would only have 25 years to serve.
Marty Martin was able to speak directly to Young during the “victim’s impact statement” phase of the sentencing, as Young, wearing his orange prison uniform, sat shackled in the courtroom.
Upon completing his statement to Young, the son of “Max” Martin turned his attention to Circuit Judge Eddie C. Lovelace and implored him to reconsider the sentence recommendation by the jury. “Twenty–five years is too little punishment for his (Young’s) role in taking my father’s life,” he stated. Martin further asked that Lovelace consider having the three sentences run consecutively, for a total of 65 years to serve.
Lovelace agreed with Martin’s request and ordered that the sentences recommended by the jury run consecutively, for a total of 65 years.
Martin was killed at his home at 1600 Hope Road in the northern part of Monroe County and then his home was burned to hide evidence of the crime, according to testimony during the trial. Text messages between Young and Parke that were recovered gave a “cyber-picture” of the crime, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Clay Hundley told jurors in May. Messages from Young to Parke asked if he wanted “to do the big deal” with Parke answering, “Kill Max” and Young urging, “Yea get it…Do it now…Do it now.”
According to testimony during the trial, Parke asked to see Martin’s handgun, a .25 caliber semi-automatic, then handed it to Young, who handed it back to Parke, who then emptied the gun’s magazine into Martin’s body.
The two of them, testimony continued, then took Martin’s wallet from his pocket and searched the house for a box of money Martin allegedly kept there, without finding it, they said. Young recounted in interviews with police that Parke then went into the rear of the house and got a container of kerosene and dumped the flammable liquid throughout the kitchen and bedroom of the home before lighting the fuel in an attempt to burn all the physical evidence pertaining to their crimes. Later on, Young stated he drove back to Martin’s house to make sure it had burned and, upon finding it hadn’t, returned again with Parke and more gasoline and relit the blaze.
Following last Friday’s sentencing, Young was ordered into the custody of the jailer to be transferred to the state correctional facility. There is still no set date for the trial date of Jessie Parke, according to Monroe Circuit Court Clerks officials.