GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A day before a mutilated body was found in his basement, 29-year-old Jared Chance, accompanied by his parents, approached Grand Rapids police to discuss the case, but was turned away, his attorney said.
“They wouldn’t take his statement,’’ defense attorney Andrew Rodenhouse said.
Rodenhouse made the disclosure during a probable cause conference Tuesday for Chance, who faces two felony charges stemming from the death of 31-year-old Ashley Young of Kalamazoo. Chance wanted to make a statement about Young’s death, Rodenhouse said.
“They attempted to make a statement and they were turned away, allegedly being told this was a matter for Kalamazoo and not the Grand Rapids Police Department,’’ Rodenhouse said outside of court.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said that version of events is “not quite correct,’’ but declined to elaborate.
“They certainly dropped the ball on this one,’’ Rodenhouse said. “I would suspect at the time, he would have made a full and complete statement. But once he was arrested, he invoked his right to remain silent and hasn’t spoken to anyone since.’’
Young was last seen in Grand Rapids on Nov. 29. Investigators say she died on or about Nov. 30, but the cause of death has not been determined. Her torso was found Dec. 2 in Chance’s basement on Franklin Street near Dolbee Avenue SE.
Chance was charged with concealing the death of an individual, a five-year felony, and mutilation of a dead body, which carries a 10-year term. Parts of Young's body remain missing.
Chance's parents are each charged with perjury and being an accessory after the fact to a felony. Perjury is punishable by up to life in prison.
Rodenhouse said the trajectory of the investigation might have been different had investigators talked with Jared Chance when he arrived at police headquarters on Dec. 1.
Chance will be back in Grand Rapids District Court on Jan. 4 to hear evidence against him. During Tuesday’s hearing, Rodenhouse asked for a reduction in bond, which was set at $750,000.
“The reason that bond may have been set so high is because there’s the possibility that he’d be charged with open murder,’’ Rodenhouse said. “Your honor, I would respectfully ask that unless the people are going to charge open murder, that his bond be reduced.’’
Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Boivin objected, calling Chance “an extremely dangerous individual.’’
“It’s our position that the defendant is an absolute threat to the community, given the nature of the charges,’’ Boivin told the court. “We are obviously still investigating.’’
Grand Rapids District Court Judge Jennifer Faber opted to keep the bond in place.
“Given that both parties indicate that this is a developing matter, I think it is appropriate to maintain bond at this point,’’ Faber said.
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