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Father of convicted killer won't face retrial for perjury

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Posted at 12:05 PM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 14:14:13-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Prosecutors will not pursue a second trial against a man convicted of helping his son cover up the murder and mutilation of a woman in 2018.

On Jan. 13, a jury found James Chance guilty of being an accessory after the fact in the death of Ashley Young. The jury also found him not guilty on one count of perjury and couldn’t reach an agreement on another, leading to the judge declaring a mistrial.

On Friday, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced he will not re-try Chance for the remaining perjury offense.

One of the perjury counts came after prosecutors accused Chance of lying about when he returned home with his family by saying it was dark outside and they went to bed soon after. Investigators said they had evidence that showed it was still the afternoon when they returned home.

The jury found Chance not guilty on that charge.

The other perjury charge came after prosecutors say Chance lied about returning “directly home.” Prosecutors argued that the family had stopped at Costco on their trip home and Chance lied about what happened on the trip.

Because the jury found him not guilty of perjury regarding the time the family went home, prosecution couldn’t argue it was a lie at a retrial.

Becker says the likelihood of conviction on a retrial was not likely based on what evidence would be admissible.

Chance’s son, Jared Chance, is serving a 100-year prison sentence in Young’s death. His wife, Barbara, has pleaded no contest to perjury and being an accessory after the fact.