Teen pleads guilty to juvenile assault

CATLETTSBURG A 19-year-old will spend a hunk of his adulthood behind bars after pleading guilty to multiple violent charges on Thursday in Boyd County Circuit Court.

Matthew Young, of Monticello, appeared via video conference from the Boyd County Jail alongside his public defender, Whitney Davis, who he attempted to fire just a few months ago.

Young, initially charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, assault on a correctional officer and escape, appeared nonchalant throughout the guilty plea process, answering Boyd Circuit Judge John Vincent with a “yeah” as he waived his constitutional rights.

Attorneys reached a resolution in the case after mediation earlier this week, which resulted in Young’s first-degree assault charge (a class B felony) being reduced to second-degree assault after camera footage revealed it was Young’s co-defendant as the perpetrator of the first-degree assault.

According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kiersten Rosen, the assault included Young and another “young man” assaulting three victims.

Details describing the assault have not been able to be obtained, however, as Judge Vincent broke down Young’s charges, the events transpired Nov. 1, 2022, and involved Young escaping from a cell block in order to assault another inmate at Boyd Regional Detention Center, where Young also assaulted a correctional officer.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Young will be sentenced to 10 years on each count of second-degree assault, totaling 20 years, the maximum punishment for both counts.

On third-degree escape, Young’s 20-year bid will include 90 days for third-degree escape (the maximum) and two years for third-degree assault on the officer.

Back in January, Judge Vincent told Young to reconsider firing Davis, his public defender, after Young filed his own legal motion.

“You think you know better than your attorney?” Vincent asked at a previous hearing, reminding Young he faced a substantial prison sentence, to which Young responded in the negative.

On Thursday, Davis said the Department of Juvenile Justice will play a part in Young’s final sentencing, adding the department would need approximately six weeks to prepare.

Young is scheduled for final sentencing on May 9.