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#518387 - 10/19/16 04:28 AM Prominent Attorney Michael Young apparent suicide  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,953
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Senior Counsel Michael Young’s Death By Gunshot, Suicide Suspected

At 1:00 this afternoon, the legal community and the wider society was shocked when news went out that prominent Belizean Senior Counsel, Michael Young had been found dead in his home in Bella Vista, Belize City. Media reports say that his wife found him in the master bathroom dead at around 1:00. Reports say a gunshot was heard an hour earlier at around noon in the quiet Bella Vista area. Police found Young's licensed firearm on the ground beside him. He had a single gunshot to the head. No suicide note was found.

According to reports, the 61-year-old Young showed up to work as usual this morning, and left the office early at around 11:00. It is presumed that he went straight home where, reports say, Young took his own life. This is not confirmed and police would not confirm it. In fact, they wouldn't even confirm that young is dead, that is even after we saw medical examiner Dr. Mario Estradaban leaving Young's home, and a covered body in the back of a police pickup leaving the residence. Senior Superintendent Linden Flowers, still denied that Young's injuries were fatal. Here's what he told the media...

Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, OC, Police Precinct 4
"Behind me we are processing the scene of Mr. Michael Young, senior counsel, where Mr. Young was injured as a result of an incident at that residence."

"Can you confirm that he is fatally injured?"

Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, OC, Police Precinct 4
"My information so far that he is seriously injured. I arrive here on the scene at about 35 minutes ago and my detectives along with other detectives from the main eastern division north is on the scene. I have no immediate contact with them. I have not gotten any confirmation. When I arrived here is that Mr. Michael Young is injured at his residence."

Daniel Ortiz, 7News
"Sir, we just saw the police let in Dr. Mario Estradabran if I'm not mistaken. A medical examiner suggests that the injury was fatal."

Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, OC, Police Precinct 4
"I did not see Dr. Estradabran. I also know that another medical practitioner has been summoned to the scene. However I cannot confirm that Dr. Mario Estradabran entered."

So...very little information about the circumstances of the shooting has been released to the media. But police are doing a thorough forensic investigation to determine whether Young indeed killed himself - which is the working theory, but still unconfirmed. Today, forensics, scenes of crime sand ballistics personnel combed the home for clues - and, for now at least, police haven't seen anything to indicate that it was not a suicide.

But, whatever the circumstances we do know that one of Belize's leading attorneys is suddenly gone, under circumstances that many in his profession say are incomprehensible. Today, Mayor Darrell Bradley who first worked with Young when he entered the legal practice, described him as "an icon of the legal profession." He adds, "But more than that he was a teacher and friend. He taught me and many others how to be good lawyers and how to value character and principles and he inspired me to always work to be better. He will certainly be missed by all those young lawyers who came under his tutelage and we will sing his praises and continue to appreciate him for his wisdom, his gentle correction and his witty humor."

In the media we knew Michael Young as one of the most approachable and easygoing members of the legal fraternity, always willing to share an insight, grant an interview, and, as Bradley said, to offer instruction, as he did in this 2016 interview, in the famous "witchcraft" trial.

Michael Young - SC, Attorney for the Defendant
"All of this has to do in a sense with freedom of speech in a robust political community and that's why in the end we said this is an overreaction. You attacked the returning officer, you did so with some very colourful language particularly at the end and then you jump up and say I am so hurt? No but it is a matter for the court."

Young also held an executive post on the UDP as legal advisor.

Michael Young, dead at 61.

Channel 7

#518412 - 10/20/16 04:40 AM Re: Prominent Attorney Michael Young apparent suicide [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,953
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Revealing Some Of The Mystery Of Michael Young’s Sudden Death

Today, a wide cross section of Belizean society is still trying to figure out what could have led prominent attorney Michael Young to commit suicide.  What we know so far is that the 61 year old Young left his office at Young's Law Firm at around 11:00, went to buy lunch from his usual place, ate lunch with his wife at their Bella Vista home, and then retired to his bedroom at 12:45.  At around 1:00, his wife found him dead in the bathroom. The door had been locked and he was found inside with a gunshot to the left side of the temple, and beside his body lay a black and silver Ruger 9 mm pistol loaded with (1) one live round in the chamber and (14) live rounds inside the magazine. One 9mm expended shell was found inside the bathtub.

Today his long time and close personal friend Rodwell Williams discussed with us the circumstances leading to his Young's apparent suicide.  He says his friend had been ill:

Rodwell Williams - SC - Michael's Friend
"You're so close that you should see things for what they are byt yet you're so close that perhaps you miss things for what they are. Yes we know Mike has been ill, you know he had that challenge with cancer which he had overcome and so on and he had return of dengue, he faced that and it left him with a residual kind of bronchial kind of cough which he have found it challenging to shake and we know he's an indefatigable worker (laugh)... That man is known to put in hours, he goes to the office at 5 and 6 in the morning, do a job of work then staff come in 8 o'clock like we know he was terribly tired, complained about being tired, over worked kind of thing. We know that burnt our kind of thing needed medication to rest but he was clearly ill in that sense and kept being dismissive, you know man I will take care of it rather than trying to put his health first."

"Certain I can say to you that leading up to Tuesday and Tuesday morning those at his office; again you know he's ill but those at the office were experiencing a kind of deterioration in terms of how he operates and so on and in fact why you no go home go rest, why you no go home go rest kind of thing but in a way to observe that look the boss no the feel too well obviously and we know he's ill and so on but he the burn the midnight oil too; he's and indefatigable worker so they just kind of encourage him to go, he was to go to Belmopan Tuesday and was discouraged, no why you no go home and rest and so. And he left to go for lunch, buy his lunch and took it home and everything, you know he didn't quite buy a lot of lunch like if he will have a party, took it home and things evolve as they did so. We know, we see, we know he's ill but beatable kind of illness and then this whole tiredness. I am not going to put a clinical definition of what but the word depression and sleeplessness but tired at the same time you know."

Later on we'll have much more on the legacy of Michael Young as fellow Senior Counsels Denys Barrow and Godfrey Smith comment on his public life as a lawyer and social activist.

Michael Young, A Leading Legal Light and A Public Advocate

When Michael Young apparently ended his own life yesterday – it sent shockwaves across the society – partly because he was so well known, but also because so many thought a man of his bearing and means couldn't have any problem so bad that it would force him to take such a drastic measure.  Today his friends commented on the initial shock, the realization and the reflection:…

Rodwell Williams - SC - Michael's Friend
"Profound shock, disbelief and grief; I would never had thought and even when I learn more I resisted the notion this could be true so I was profoundly shocked and broken by it."

Denys Barrow, S.C. - Michael's Colleague
"There was of course the immediate shock the obvious what - bwai but I quickly settled into a philosophical stance - I could only wonder what took place and why it took place. Recognise that there will be so many things unanswered and it is a source of comfort for me to think that Michael made a decision; one doesn't know what his emotional state was etc. but I am content in accepting that Michael made a massive contribution. He leaves a behind a lot of high regard; warmth and love and I think he lived a good and full life. And bwai I'm just happy that he was my friend and that gave so much to Belize and to Belizeans and I'm content to live with that memory."

Rodwell Williams - SC - Michael's Friend
"It's a void in terms of his absence will create a void in all levels. Quite obviously the context of his family, friends and in the context of the civic and political life of our country; the circumstances with regards to his transition, I am satisfied that it is consistent with the strength of his conviction and it's a hallmark of his depth and strength rather than to be treated as a weakness."

And his friends and colleagues say his greatest strength was his devotion to the law. Godfrey Smith says Young's commitment was uncommon:..

Godfrey Smith, S.C. - Attorney
"A United States Supreme Court Justice once said that the law is a jealous mistress, and requires long and constant courtship. Michael Young was a consummate lawyer, a completely dedicated lawyer, who lavished homage on the law. Michael was proud to boast that he would work Saturday's, Sunday's, he did that throughout his career, a completely dedicated lawyer. I think if there was to be such a thing as a reincarnation, a second coming, Michael I would gamble would say he'd be a lawyer all over again, because, he loved it. That passion, that complete dedication, that complete devotion and homage quickly propelled him squarely into the upper echelons of trial advocacy, where you might have observed that he wasn't a fiery, explosive, aggressive, abrasive advocate, he was a gentleman's advocate, always courteous to colleagues, courteous to judges, calm and measured because he was sitting on top such a depth of experience and knowledge. He was a bright and gifted lawyer, but I don't think he ever felt the need to be showy about it, or to lord it over others."

Denys Barrow, S.C. - Michael's Colleague
I have received a number of messages emails from England from Jamaica the former justice Morrisson etc. Legal colleagues who practiced against him from the English bar so on and the universal regard for him as Nigel Pleming said he was a delightful man. Witty, humorous passionate, full of integrity and good, there was a goodness to Michael."

Godfrey Smith, S.C. - Attorney
The man had a deep social conscience which is easily missed, it's not something that is readily associated with lawyers, as you know, so perhaps that is, that in my view, might in retrospect, be viewed as his most defining trait, his social conscience."

Denys Barrow, S.C. - Michael's Colleague
"Michael believed in things, Michael believed in people, he believed in family, he believed in the tradition of the legal profession, he believed he could make a contribution to improving society and he was willing to make the effort."

Godfrey Smith, S.C. - Attorney
"My recollection is of a complete gentleman both in his private life and as a lawyer. And we will always miss him both in court and in social functions."

Rodwell Williams - SC - Michael's Friend
"I have found great comfort in recalling the life, the contribution, the very many ways in which my friend; Michael Clarence Edward Young has touched so many people."

Michael Young was the son of Horace Young, an exemplary and highly regarded Queen's Council who died in 2010 at the age of 87.

Channel 7

#518508 - 10/25/16 05:14 AM Re: Prominent Attorney Michael Young apparent suicide [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,953
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

A Final Farewell To Michael Young

This evening, family, friends, colleagues of Senior Counsel Michael Young gathered at the Wesley Methodist Church to pay their respects at the Funeral Services. It was not a state funeral, but with all the government officials, and the members of the legal fraternity who joined his family in the church, it might as well have been. Among the speakers this evening were Prime Minister Dean Barrow, his brother Denys, and his law partner Rodwell Williams. Each men made sure to tailor their remarks to encapsulate a different aspect of his personality and his accomplishments as a distinguished Belizean. Here's an excerpt of what they said:

Michael Young was laid to rest at Homeland Memorial. Tomorrow, the judges will suspend all court cases to hold a special sitting of the Supreme Court in his honor.

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