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Wash. court upholds penalty in attempted fetus killing

A Suncrest man was properly sentenced for soliciting a hit man to kill his unborn child, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The court rejected Charles David Young’s contention that his sentence exceeds the statutory maximum for his crime: first-degree solicitation of manslaughter involving an unborn child.

Young, now 21, admitted he asked a friend to help him find an assassin to assault his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend and kill her fetus in October 2006. He said he didn’t care what happened to the girl, who was eight months pregnant.

The friend told the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, which arranged for an undercover Spokane County sheriff’s officer to pose as a hit man.

Young gave the undercover officer a photo of the ex-girlfriend, a map to her house and a $1,250 down payment on a $3,250 contract.

Stevens County Superior Court Judge Al Nielson sentenced Young to the standard maximum 61/3 years in prison, plus two to four years of probation after his release.

Together, the prison and probation terms might have exceeded the 10-year statutory maximum, but Nielsen modified his order to specify that the combined term couldn’t exceed 10 years.

Citing a U.S. Supreme Court limitation on above-standard sentences, Young also argued that his prison and probation time couldn’t exceed 61/3 years. However, the three-judge appellate court said standard sentencing ranges don’t include probation.