Young sentenced to 31 years in prison for murder

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. -- A 19-year-old man convicted of killing a friend last Fourth of July has been sentenced to 31 years in prison.

John Young was sentenced Friday, a week after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Josh Snapp near the Horn Rapids ORV park. The sentence was close to the maximum of 32 years in prison Young had faced.

"Look at what you did to him," Joshua Snapp's mother sobbed. "Look at what you did to yourself and your family and my family. And it will never go away. Why can't you shed a tear for anyone but yourself?"

An emotionless John Young didn't break eye contact with the distraught mother.

In a jammed courtroom, the friend turned killer listened to how his crime has affected the Snapp family.

"This is my son. This is the boy you took away from me. That's the man right there," said Joshua's father to Young.

It was their final chance to share their feelings before the court. Young is the second of two people convicted of the death of the 17-year-old.

Snapp's father brought one of Joshua's shirts to court.

"I keep that box sealed, so I can smell my son, because I don't ever get to have that again," he said.

One of John Young's former teachers spoke on his behalf, telling a judge the 19-year-old was just misguided and that she would take his place in prison.

"I would gladly serve his sentence," said Lori Saueressig. "I would do it today. I want you to let me pay the price."

Snapp's father told his son's killer that, if he managed to show remorse and admit to his crime, he would ask the judge to lessen the sentence.

That didn't happen.

"I have nothing at this time," Young said.

Young's defense attorney was seeking a sentence of about 20 years. A judge gave him 31 instead. Young could only blink as his fate was sealed.

"That's 31 years, young man," the judge said.

Josh Hunt was the first person convicted of killing Josh Snapp. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and given a 23-year prison term.

"I think it's unfortunate that neither Mr. Hunt nor Mr. Young spoke at sentencing and showed any remorse," said Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller. "That actually is one of my big disappointments about this case."

Prosecutors said Young and Hunt planned to kill Snapp over a drug debt and took turns shooting him in the head.

The defense argued that Hunt planned the murder alone and that Young was afraid of him.

Young is expected to appeal his sentence. Hunt has already done the same.