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Attorneys try to nail down timeline at murder trial

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Dec 7, 2017 at 10:32 AM

Getting through testimony of 11 witnesses, attorneys attempted to sort out what happened the night of a fatal fight outside the Holland Hookah Lounge during the second day of the murder trial of Aaron Young, 26, a former Holland resident, on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Around 3 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2016, a fight broke out between two groups of people in the parking lot of the Hookah Lounge, located at 960 Butternut Drive in Holland Township. Gunshots went off, resulting in the death of 22-year-old Anthony Lamb.

Neither the defense nor the prosecution argue that Young shot and killed Lamb. But Young's attorneys said he fired the gun in self defense, and should not be found guilty of murder or using a firearm to commit a felony. The defense does not argue a third charge against Young, which is for carrying a concealed weapon without the proper licensing.

The 11 witnesses the prosecuting attorney, JoEllen Haas, called on the first full day of the jury trial following the jury selection included five Ottawa County Sheriff's Office officers, the Hookah Lounge owner, the medical examiner, a woman who called 911 that night, an employee at the Hookah Lounge and Young's then-girlfriend, who drove Young around following Lamb's death.

According to Young's then-girlfriend, Monika Marques, she and Young went to the Hookah Lounge the night after her 22nd birthday with some friends. Because they were celebrating her birthday, she asked Young to leave his gun in her car. Young left the gun in Marques' car and the two went in to meet their friends.

At some point later on, though, Young asked Marques for her car keys, which she handed over.

"Aaron asked me for my keys, and then disappeared for five to 10 minutes," Marques said during her testimony.

Around half an hour later, Young, Marques and their friends get up to leave.

"There was another group following us out the door and they stopped us," Marques said. "I told Aaron I would wait for him in the car because I figured there would be an argument. As soon as we were leaving, the group had gotten up and followed us."

The following few minutes were confusing and loud, Marques said. As she was heading to her car, she heard gunshots and ran to her car. Young then joined her in her car and they drove off. The next two hours were a haze for Marques, driving around all over Holland with Young.

Somewhere near Quincy Street and 142nd Avenue, Young threw bullet casings out the window, then ditched his brown and black revolver in the woods. Police have yet to find the revolver.

Meanwhile, back at the Hookah Lounge, Ottawa County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Matt Wildfong was performing CPR on Lamb.

"I was the first on scene," Wildfong said. "There was a male laying down on the sidewalk, not moving. I began doing chest compressions and checked to see if he had a pulse. I notified dispatch that I had a victim that appeared to be deceased."

The bullet that killed Lamb went into his left shoulder, then traveled into his chest and hit a major artery. Lamb bled to death internally, according to Ottawa County Medical Examiner David Smart. The bullet struck Lamb's descending thoracic aorta, then lodged in his spine.

"The injury of this nature is a very significant injury," Smart said. "You’re going to have very significant bleeding very quickly. That blood will fill the chest cavity, which it did in this case. Lamb is a healthy, young individual, so you would expect his body to tolerate a lack of oxygen better than someone with other heart conditions. It would have been more than a minute, I would say multiple minutes (before he died)."

What happened in those few minutes leading up to the bullet entering Lamb's body will prove to be crucial for Young's self-defense case moving forward in the trial, which is expected to last two weeks. The prosecutor hopes to finish her case on Friday, Dec. 8, then the defense will take over when the trial resumes on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Should Young be convicted of murder, he is facing up to life in prison.

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