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Defendant in brawl enters Alford plea

September 20, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

An effort to reimburse the victim of a 1998 Hancock bar brawl for his medical expenses resulted in a 10-year suspended prison sentence Monday.

Troy Lynn Younker, 27, of Hancock, entered an Alford plea in Washington County Circuit Court, admitting he was in a brawl on Sept. 12, 1998, with Mickey Thompson in the parking lot of The Log Cabin on Md. 615.

"He remembers it starting a different way but he knows witnesses will say otherwise," said defense attorney Michael Nehring in court Monday.

An Alford plea acknowledges that the state has enough evidence to convict but the defendant doesn't admit guilt.

The defendant's brother, Larry Younker, of Hancock, initially had been charged with assault in the 1:15 a.m. fight, but those charges were dropped Monday.

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Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Bill Hayden told Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone that further investigation revealed Larry Younker was trying to break up the fight.

Witnesses told police that Troy Younker pushed Thompson to the ground and hit him, Hayden said. The owner of The Log Cabin pulled Troy Younker off Thompson, who was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries that required stitches.

"Alcohol seems to be a problem," Hayden said, referring to Troy Younker's criminal background, which includes a 1994 conviction on a charge of homicide by auto while intoxicated.

In that 1989 accident, Troy Younker's uncle was killed when Troy Younker, then 17, was behind the wheel. Troy Younker had been drinking and was driving fast when he ran off the road and hit a tree, according to court records.

Younker fled the scene and went to his grandmother's home in Hancock, court records said. From there, he went to Pennsylvania, altered the spelling of his last name and changed his birthdate to avoid detection, according to court records.

Younker was found in Kentucky in 1992 and returned to stand trial. Judge John H. McDowell sentenced him to 18 months in jail on May 10, 1994, in the death of Thomas Christopher Younker in the traffic accident.

Troy Younker said Monday he doesn't have a drinking problem and only drinks occasionally with his family. He said he was out drinking with his brother and his mother the night of the fight.

"I'm sorry for this," he said, turning to face Thompson.

Boone placed Troy Younker on probation for five years, barred him from The Log Cabin during that time and ordered him to have no contact with Thompson.

"A deal's a deal," Boone told the defendant, a full-time roofer, about paying full restitution by Nov. 19 at 4 p.m.

He has been ordered to pay $3,088 for the victim's medical bills within 60 days

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