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Minister Convicted of Killing Wife

March 5, 1987

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) _ A small-town minister accused of killing his wife to get out of the marriage without a career-ruining divorce has been convicted of first-degree murder.

A jury deliberated 12 1/2 hours over two days before returning the verdict Wednesday against the Rev. Grady Young, charged in the shooting death Aug. 9 of Elva Mae Young, 55, in their mobile home, the church parsonage.

The 61-year-old Baptist minister and father of five could receive up to 20 years in prison. Clallam County Superior Court Judge Gary Velie revoked bail and jailed him pending sentencing April 1.

Police said Young shot his wife three times with a .22-caliber rifle and tried to make it look as if she had stumbled onto a burglary.

Items that Young had reported missing were later found under a bed and under the home, along with the rifle, wrapped in plastic covered with Young’s fingerprints, said police in this mill town about 60 miles from Seattle.

Prosecutor David Bruneau had alleged that Young grew tired of his wife but believed a divorce could wreck his career.

Defense attorney Craig Ritchie suggested the minister might have been the intended victim of someone with a grudge against the couple.

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