AUGUSTA – Michael T. Young of Augusta will spend the next six years in prison for the stabbing death of his partner, David Cox, but he’s not admitting that he killed him.

Young, 41, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Thursday in Kennebec County Superior Court, in an agreement in which he essentially pleaded guilty without admitting guilt.

Last week, Young was in the same courtroom with his attorney, Pamela Ames, and waived his right to a jury trial.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson, urged the judge Thursday to accept the jointly recommended sentence, saying there was risk to both sides if the case went to trial.

“Half a loaf in this case is better than none,” Benson said.

Benson previously said authorities didn’t believe Young’s story about Cox, who was 46, tripping over a bicycle and falling onto the knife, and the medical examiner told investigators that the fatal wound was not consistent with accidental stabbing.

Justice Michaela Murphy imposed the sentence of 12 years in prison, with six years suspended and four years of probation. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years.

Young had made a frantic call at 5:15 a.m. on June 11, 2011, begging police and rescuers to help Cox.

Police arrived at the apartment the men shared and found Young’s hands and shorts covered with blood. Young told police he had been ill in bed and got up after hearing a bang, finding Cox in the kitchen, slumped over Young’s bicycle and with a knife in his chest.

The state medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was a stab wound to the heart.

In court Thursday, Young gave one-word answers to a series of questions from Murphy before she accepted the guilty plea.

Benson described the facts of the case for the judge, noting that forensic chemists and biologists found a blood spatter pattern indicating Cox had been stabbed near the kitchen sink, and a trail of blood led from there to Cox’s body, which was found near a toppled table and bicycle.

DNA matching that of Cox and Young was found on the knife that killed Cox, Benson said.

A court affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Christopher Tupper describes the couple’s neighbors as telling police that the men had a turbulent relationship and that Young told several of them “how he had done everything to David Cox but shoot him” to keep Cox’s frequently outrageous conduct under control.

 

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

badams@centralmaine.com