GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Convicted killer Jared Chance was sentenced Thursday to between 100 and 200 years in prison for the Nov. 2018 murder and dismemberment of Ashley Young, a crime the judge called "reprehensible and heinous.’’
“This is, without question, the worst case that I have ever been involved in,’’ Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock said. “What you did was reprehensible and heinous.’’
The sentence, handed down before a packed Grand Rapids courtroom, far exceeded sentencing guidelines that recommended a minimum term of between 22½ and 75 years.
"It was clearly a senseless killing and mutilation,'' Trusock said. "The guidelines do not take into account the level of brutality involved and your lack of compassion and remorse.’’
Trusock said he wanted to make sure that Chance would not be eligible for parole until he is 130 years old.
"You sir, are a very evil individual,'' the judge said. "You are clearly a monster without any conscience.''
Chance, 30, did not address the court before he was sentenced.
A Kent County jury in September found Chance guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Young, whose partial remains were found beneath a tarp and in a box at Chance's rental house on Franklin Street SE in Grand Rapids.
Chance, who has been jailed since his arrest in early December, rejected a plea deal that called for a minimum prison term of 31 years, which represents Young's age at the time of her death.
In addition to second-degree murder, jurors found Chance guilty of tampering with evidence, mutilation of a dead body and concealing the death of an individual.
Chance showed no emotion Thursday as relatives of Ashley Young addressed the court. One by one, they lambasted Chance, calling him a coward and an evil person.
“May you rot in hell,’’ Young’s father said. “You lived your life as a coward; you will die as a coward.’’
The victim’s mother, Kristine Young, brought a picture-covered box of the victim’s ashes into court and shouted as she addressed Chance from just feet away.
“Jared Chance, I hate you. I want to rip you limb from limb and discard you like trash. Like you did to Ashley,’’ she shouted. “You do not deserve to breathe.’’
Chance looked down as he was verbally berated for several minutes by friends and family of Ashley Young.
“Your eyes are empty. Where is your soul?’’ asked Delores Young, the victim’s grandmother.
Dana Nelson, the victim’s stepmother, called Chance “an evil person.’’
“You are the devil,’’ Nelson said, sobbing. “You took Ashley’s future away from her and from all of us.’’
She urged Chance to come clean on what happened to Ashley Young and to tell the family where the victim’s missing body parts are located. Ashley Young's head, hands and feet have not been located.
“Even the death penalty is too good for you,’’ Nelson added.
Young's exact cause of death is unknown; investigators never recovered her head. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by undetermined means.
The death of Ashley Young garnered national attention due to the macabre circumstances. She was last seen alive on Nov. 28; her remains were discovered four days later.
Grand Rapids police were called to Chance's rental home at 922 Franklin Street SE on Sunday, Dec. 2, after his neighbor found a bloody tarp in the basement.
Young's torso was found beneath the tarp. Police recovered her arms and legs from a cardboard box on a stairway landing.
The victim's hands, feet and head have not been recovered. Police say they believe Chance threw them in a trash bin.
“How cruel is this man that he continues to lie to the mother of the person’s he killed? He’s giving her a carrot of hope that (Ashley's) alive," Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Boivin told jurors during closing statements last month.
"But she’s not. She’s dead,'' Boivin told jurors. "And he’s been mutilating her. And sawing her limbs off.’’
Defense attorney Andrew Rodenhouse told jurors repeatedly throughout the trial that police rushed the investigation, leaving out key suspects.
“There were multiple other people who were potentially involved, but nobody bothered to take a DNA swab to at least exclude them," Rodenhouse said.
Chance's parents were also charged in connection to covering up Young's murder. They are set to go to trial in early 2020.
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