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The Gift of Life
May 20, 2009 - Joe Gorman
Curtis Young is lucky he is still alive.
The 26-year-old Center Street man who was convicted of killing Helen Moore, her 8-year-old son Ceonei and the full term baby boy Moore was carrying was spared the death penalty Tuesday when a jury recommended that Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Maureen Sweeney instead sentence him to life in prison with no chance of parole.
A hard choice for a man who was aruging with his on again/off again girlfriend who picked up a gun and fired one shot, probably just to scare her away after she chased him all over the East Side. Instead, that one bullet he fired killed three people and wrecked two families forever.
I never saw anyone cry like Deborah Chattman, one of Moore's aunts, as the verdict was read. The tears were literally flowing off her cheeks and onto her shirt as she tried to stifle her emotions until court was adjourned.
I was struck afterwards by Chattman and Moore's other aunt, Arvella Smith, who hugged Young's brothers and said they were as upset that their lives were wrecked as theirs were. It was a big change, since usually in murder cases, the relatives of the victims would carry out the sentence themselves if they were allowed to.
But that's why these things are so surprising, and so interesting. One thing that was not surprising is the lack of emotion on Young's part. He didn't seem to care that he received life in prison with no parole (or relieved that he was spared the death penalty) any more than he appears upset that he killed three people.
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