A jury Thursday convicted a Colorado Springs dump truck driver of second-degree murder in his wife’s 2019 strangulation death.
The verdict spared Fredrick Stanley Young, 44, a first-degree murder conviction — and a mandatory life sentence in prison — in the death of Jennifer Young, 39, who asphyxiated when her bodybuilder husband put her in a chokehold during a drunken quarrel in their home on the city’s northeast side.
Young faces 16-48 years in prison on the murder conviction. Fourth Judicial District Judge Erin Sokol is expected to impose his sentence Aug. 31.
The panel handed up its verdict on the same day closing arguments were heard, concluding a trial that began June 3.
Authorities say Young’s body was found partially covered with a blanket on the couple’s kitchen floor at 6040 Bow River Drive, near Dublin and Powers boulevards. Her hair was matted with blood, which spattered the wall.
During more than three hours on the witness stand, Young wept repeatedly while describing how he argued with his wife as they came home from a night of drinking that started at a friend’s wedding reception. He claimed that his wife drunkenly punched him in the back of the head and pushed him into a television before he put her in a chokehold to prevent further attacks.
When she collapsed, he heard her “snoring” and assumed she had fallen asleep, and went to bed himself, he testified.
Not until he woke several hours later did he realize she had died, he said. Prosecutors repeatedly asked why he didn’t call 911.
“I don’t know,” Young told a prosecutor about failing to call for help. “At that point I felt like I just wanted to kill myself.”
Authorities say Fredrick Young had showed signs of jealousy at the wedding party, but the defendant denied it.
Prosecutors were dismissive of claim he didn't know the woman was dead, pointing to a coroner's testimony that she would have had to have been choked even after she passed out and that her hair was matted in blood that also spattered the wall.
Fredrick Young has a prior conviction for cocaine distribution but no history of violence, court records show.