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Bond reduced for woman tied to beating death of gay Phoenix man

“My choice would be that she stays in jail until trial.”
Shannon Young, Cory Young and Angel Mullooly are charged in connection with the beating death of a gay Phoenix man.
Shannon Young, Cory Young and Angel Mullooly are charged in connection with the beating death of a gay Phoenix man. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
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A series of mishaps during a court hearing on Wednesday helped Shannon Young score a lower bond for her alleged involvement in the savage beating death of Jake Kelly, a 49-year-old gay Phoenix man.

With the prosecutor assigned to the case out sick and Kelly’s mom unable to appear via phone due to technical snafus, Christina Henderson, a commissioner with the Maricopa County Superior Court, granted a motion from Young’s attorney to lower her bond, slashing it from $50,000 to $5,000. This means Young could bail out of jail with $500 cash.

Henderson ordered Young, 37, to report to pretrial services and wear an ankle monitor if released. As of Thursday morning, she was still in custody.

On Nov. 10, police arrested Shannon Young, her husband Cory Young, 49, and their friend and neighbor Angel Mullooly, 37, in connection with Kelly’s homicide in August. The Youngs were each charged with one count of hindering prosecution, a felony punishable by up to 8.75 years in prison. Mullooly was charged with second degree murder, which is punishable by up to 25 years.

Kelly shared a house with the Youngs near Cave Creek Road and Union Hills Drive. He officiated at Shannon Young’s wedding to Cory Young, a neo-Nazi skinhead, ex-con and tattoo artist. Cory Young's body is festooned with tattoos of white supremacist codes and symbols, including a swastika on the center of his chest.

Police claimed the Youngs told investigators they found Kelly in their driveway on Aug. 27 after he suffered multiple broken bones and internal injuries in a savage beating. Instead of calling 911, they allegedly took him inside, gave him a bath and put fresh clothes on him. They then placed him on a sofa and waited 16 hours to take him to a hospital.

In probable cause statements, the Youngs allegedly told police they did not know what happened to Kelly.

After several surgeries, Kelly slipped into a coma and died on Sept. 8 after being taken off life support.

Police and court documents have detailed how the three people charged in the homicide communicated with each other and with other parties after Kelly’s attack. One witness told police that Shannon Young called her on the night of the incident and told her that “Cory and Angel fucked Jake up.” The witness said Young texted her a photo of Kelly lying in a bathtub, “bleeding from his injuries.”

Mullooly allegedly texted a photo to an ex-girlfriend of a bloody Kelly seated outside the garage. The message read, “I’ve fucked up Jake 2xs babe.” Police said they obtained the photo via warrants to cell phone companies, describing it as showing Cory Young holding up Kelly’s head, with Shannon Young standing nearby.

At a Nov. 22 arraignment, all three suspects received bonds — Mullooly at $1 million, Cory Young at $100,000 and Shannon Young at $50,000.
click to enlarge Jake Kelly died on Sept. 8.
Jake Kelly was beaten and left in the driveway of his north Phoenix home on Aug. 27. He died from his injuries on Sept. 8.
Courtesy Jan Kelly

‘She chose not to help’

On Wednesday, the hearing for Shannon Young didn't go well for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

The prosecutor assigned to the case was out sick. A replacement told Henderson he was unfamiliar with the case, deferring to the state’s response to a motion filed by public defender Katie Gipson-McLean, who argued that Young’s bail was excessive and should be modified.

Gipson-McLean told Henderson that her client, who was standing next to her in handcuffs and leg irons, was no danger to the public and that pretrial services suggested Young be released on her own recognizance.

“I don’t think this amount of bond is warranted,” Gipson-McLean said. “I have clients who have stabbed people with the same bond.”

Gipson-McLean claimed Shannon Young “helped police” and “tried to care for Kelly.” The high bond was unfair, she said. Yet probable cause statements don't indicate Young was cooperative with law enforcement.

“She’s charged with hindering prosecution, not murder,” Gipson-McLean said.

Gipson-McLean’s motion pointed out that Shannon Young has “a limited criminal history with no violent or dangerous priors.”

Jan Kelly, Jake Kelly's mother, attempted to speak at Wednesday’s hearing via phone from her home in Texas, but a technical glitch made her inaudible. Instead, a victim’s advocate from the county attorney's office read a statement from Kelly.

“Shannon had choices,” Jan Kelly said in the statement. “When Jake was being kicked and stomped, she chose not to help him. When they were taking trophy pictures, she stood next to Cory while he was holding Jake's head up so the blood could be seen. She chose to do that instead of saving Jake.

“She was there when they dragged him into the house and put him on the couch. She chose not to help him. She chose to leave him there for 16 to 17 hours, dying. She chose to obscure the facts and impede the murder investigation.

“My choice would be that she stays in jail until trial.”

Without explanation, Henderson ordered the bond lowered for Shannon Young.

Speaking with Phoenix New Times by phone after the hearing, Jan Kelly expressed disappointment with Henderson’s decision. She scoffed when asked about Gipson-McLean's comment that Young had “tried to care for” her son.

“He wasn't being helped,” she said. “He was just laying there (on the couch) in horrible pain, dying, and no one helped him.”

Mullooly and Cory Young remain in custody. Their bonds are unchanged.
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