Former prosecutor reacts to guilty verdict
Nearly six years after the death of a Novinger, Mo. man, the two women charged in the case were found guilty.
The verdict came Monday in federal court in St. Louis.
Elain Kay Young, 57, Novinger, Mo. and Katherine A. Mock, 58, Cassville, Mo., were convicted of planning and causing the death of Melvin B. Griesbauer back in March of 2006 so Young could collect on his insurance policies.
Even though it took almost six year to convict these two women, former prosecuting attorney, Mark Williams, who worked on the case for four years, wasnâ??t surprised with the outcome.
â??Well in a lot of ways I'm not surprised, knowing the case like I did. I was in it for roughly four years, knew the evidence, knew what we had as far as the DNA and physical evidence,â?? said Williams. â??I really wasn't that surprised especially based on the federal court system and the evidence they can bring in, and how they can bring it in against each other. The way they used Mrs. Mock's and Mrs. Young's evidence against each other was a better method than what we can use in state court. So again, I really wasn't that surprised with the outcome.â??
The trial itself lasted six days and deliberations only lasted a few hours, so why did it take so long for the case to finally stand trial?
â??The system on a federal level is different than ours. They have to get everything before they can charge or give indictments out. They have to really get the case ready because theyâ??re under a lot quicker time standards then we are in state court, and so that played a role,â?? said Williams. â??There was so much evidence put together, a lot of the delays in federal court was because of the defense team. They needed as much time as possible to wade through the mountains of evidence we produced against her to make sure they were ready for the trial.â??
Some viewers wondered how prosecutors were able to come to the conclusion that Youngâ??s motive for killing her husband had to do with his insurance policies. According to Williams, it was just one of the motives his team looked into.
â??We just looked at the whole picture as to what the motive might have been,â?? said Williams. â??we looked at the financial background and what troubles, if any, did Mrs. Young have in regards to finances as well as what did she stand to gain from Melvinâ??s death. One of the biggest policyâ??s he had dealt with his military service and that was a substantial amount of insurance. After his death, she made a claim on it, and that kind of tied everything together.â?? In previous stories KTVO posted on this case, some viewers asked if it could have been a suicide, but Williams says from the very beginning they knew they were working a homicide.
â??It was a homicide from the very beginning. Going to the crime scene and if youâ??re familiar with guns, the weapon used was a lever-action rifle. For Mr. Griesbauer to have committed suicide there would have been one shell spent because he was shot in the face. This gun had a loaded cartridge in the chamber, so that means somebody shot and then cocked the weapon again and put a live shell in the chamber. There is no way he could have done that if it was a suicide. The other thing is the way the gun was positioned along his body. Also, the way the body was positioned, we knew right off the bat that this was in no way a suicide. I think the 911 call Mrs. Young and Mrs. Mock made, they tried to have it set up in that fashion, but it was evident when we got there that this was not a suicide.â??
Both Young and Mock are facing life in prison. In determining the actual sentence, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
â??I hope that they do get life in prison. Based on my knowledge of it, and the way I saw the evidence, it was very cruel and very calculated,â?? said Williams. â??They knew Mr. Griesbauer's pattern when he came home from work; it was well planned out and obviously executed very well because Griesbauer was killed. I would be surprised if they didn't get life in prison.â??