GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While most of Wednesday’s testimony had the prosecution working to convince a jury with forensic evidence that Jared Chance killed and dismembered Ashley Young, it was the testimony of Chance’s brother that took center stage.
Konrad Chance testified that on Dec. 1, 2018, a couple of days after Young had last been seen alive, he and his parents went to Jared Chance’s Grand Rapids apartment.
Konrad Chance said he could not remember a lot of things about the incidents of early December. At one point, Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Lawrence Boivin asked the witnesses if he was high at the time, which he denied, saying it had been a solid week since he smoked weed.
But Konrad Chance did recall that the family helped Jared Chance move some things, including a cardboard box, into his parents’ Honda. Konrad Chance said they later returned the box back to his brother’s apartment.
“We moved the stuff that we put in the Honda back into the landing area of the stairs that led to his apartment,” Konrad Chance said.
Earlier Wednesday, a crime scene technician testified to finding a box on the stairs and that it contained human body parts.
The brothers avoided eye contact as testimony concluded for the day and Jared Chance returned to his jail cell.
Konrad Chance is also expected to testify for the prosecution against his parents James and Barbara Chance, who are charged with perjury and being accessories after the fact in the case.
Also Wednesday, jurors heard from workers at Mulligan’s Pub where Young, 31, and Jared Chance, 30, drank tequila late into the night of Nov. 28 into the 29th. Bartender Emily Pottgetter said she remembered Young being there with a red-headed male as they went back and forth between the bar and the nearby hookah lounge. She said the two appeared to be having a good time.
“There was nothing to make me think that anything was happening or to, definitely not, to make me think that she would go missing in a couple days,” Pottgetter said.
The pub later supplied video footage to police that helped them establish a timeline for the movements of the victim and suspect before she was killed.
Two crime scene technicians, who collected and photographed the crime scene at Chance’s home where some of Young’s remains were found Dec. 2, then took the stand.
Among the photos of evidence collected were things like a utility knife found in the toilet, latex gloves and plastic wrap. Karen Curtiss, a crime scene tech, also displayed Young’s blood- and tissue-splattered hoodie found in a dumpster near the home, which video shows Chance placing items.
Grand Rapids Police Department Detective Shawn Harmon showed videos of Chance disposing of items at Miss Tracy’s, a party store near his home. Some of those items include a bag that looked like the same bag that Young’s belongings were found.
But the most devastating evidence was in a cardboard box found on the stairs in Chance’s home.
Asked what was in the box, Curtiss replied: “I saw limbs.”
Tests showed those limbs belonged to Young.
Photos of the box’s contents were passed around to grim-faced jurors.
They also saw photos of the reciprocating saw found in Chance’s parents’ Holland home that authorities say had Young’s blood and tissue on it.
Young’s friends and family, who once again packed the prosecution side of the courtroom, wept and comforted Young’s mother Kristine Young.
The 14-person jury, including two alternates, was seated Monday. On Tuesday, they heard from Young’s mother, who described how she looked for her daughter after not hearing from her for a few days in late November. She said Chance told her a made-up story about Young going to Kalamazoo, said he was still communicating with Young and gave the mother useless numbers to call.
On Wednesday, Chance’s friend Demetreis Taylor took the stand to testify that Chance asked him to tell Young’s mother that he had just been with Young. Taylor had never met Young and he refused to lie to her mother.
“I just told her, ‘I don’t know your daughter, I never met your daughter,'” Taylor said.
Chance faces charges of second-degree murder, mutilation of a dead body, concealing a death and three counts of tampering with evidence. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Earlier this week, he rejected a plea deal that would have required him to plead guilty to the charges against him and provide a full confession about what happened to Young, including to her head, hands and feet, which haven’t been recovered. In exchange, prosecutors would have recommended a minimum sentence of 31 years. Without the deal, the minimum could be has high as 87 years.
The prosecution has a slew of witnesses and a stack of evidence that it hopes will convince a jury Chance is responsible for Young’s death, though it can’t tell jurors for certain how she died because her head is still missing. The defense says that prosecutors don’t have any evidence actually proving Chance killed her.
The trial is expected to last the entire week and could extend into next week.
News 8 will be in the courtroom for the duration of the trial with continuous coverage online and daily reports on air.