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Holland man convicted of Hookah Lounge murder

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Dec 14, 2017 at 7:16 PM

After 16 hours and 33 minutes of deliberation Thursday, a jury of his peers convicted Aaron Joshua-John Young, 26, of murdering 22-year-old Anthony Lamb.

Young killed Lamb shortly after 3 a.m. Sept. 11, 2016, in the parking lot of the Holland Hookah Lounge at 960 Butternut Drive.

Two groups filed into the parking lot outside the Hookah Lounge from the business and a shootout began. Young never denied shooting and killing Lamb, but claimed during testimony that he acted in self-defense, stating that an individual in the victim's group shot first.

The jury didn't buy it.

Young has been convicted of second-degree non-premeditated murder, carrying a concealed weapon and using a firearm to commit a felony. He faces up to life in prison for the crimes.

Lamb was killed by a .22-caliber bullet shot out of Young's revolver. The bullet went into Lamb's left shoulder, then traveled into his chest and hit a major artery. Lamb bled to death internally, according to Ottawa County Medical Examiner David Start. The bullet struck Lamb’s descending thoracic aorta, then lodged in his spine. It would have taken more than a minute for Lamb to die after being hit.

Ymani Williams, Lamb's fiancee, clutched the 2-year-old daughter she shares with Lamb after the verdict was read. Williams sat through all seven days of Young's trial, testifying on the first day.

"I can just breathe now," Williams said after the verdict. "I just kept praying and praying, my heart is still in my stomach."

While Williams said she knows nothing can bring Lamb back, she was relieved the jury convicted Young of murder.

"At least this is some form of justice and he's not just another person shot," she said. "This has been a long time coming."

Young will remain at the Ottawa County Jail until he is sentenced, after which he will be transferred to a state prison.

Two other individuals, Levell Turner and Demetrius Viney, who were both part of Lamb's group in the parking lot, have already been sentenced to prison time for possessing and using guns during the shootout.

While Young claimed that Viney shot his 9-millimeter pistol first, independent witnesses at the Hookah Lounge that night testified that the first shots they heard were quieter than the following shots.

"At first, it almost sounded like a small popping noise, like maybe a fake gun or a cap gun, and then I saw flashes coming from the middle of the parking lot," said witness Ashley Mongar. "When I first heard them, it sounded small. Then, after I saw the flashes, it sounded more intense than the first sounds that I heard."

The prosecution also called two Michigan State Police firearms experts, who affirmed that a layperson would hear a difference between the louder 9-millimeter gun and a quieter, smaller .22-caliber gun.

Prosecuting attorney JoEllen Haas celebrated with Lamb's friends and family after the trial ended.

"I do have great faith in Ottawa County jurors in getting it right," Haas said. "It's so rewarding to be able to help the families in our community."

Young's attorneys, Anna White and Tom Smith, declined to comment on the verdict.

Young will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26, by Judge Jon Hulsing at the Ottawa County 20th Circuit Court in Grand Haven.

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