GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The case of a father accused of helping his son cover up the dismemberment of a woman is in the hands of a jury.
They will decide whether James Chance is guilty or not guilty of perjury and being an accessory after the fact in the dismemberment of Ashley Young, who Chance’s son was convicted of murdering.
Friday’s proceedings started with closing arguments from attorneys for both sides.
Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Boivin told the jury that Chance omitted details about stops the family made between Grand Rapids, where Young was killed in late 2018, and the family home in Holland. Some of Young’s remains were in Chance’s vehicle at the time. Boivin said Chance’s failure to tell investigators everything that happened hindered the investigation and may have prevented the recovery of Young’s body parts.
Boivin argued that Chance used his 24 years of experience as a police officer to help his son cover up the crime. He said that when the family went to the Grand Rapids Police Department on Dec. 2, 2018, James Chance could have simply told police that his son killed and dismembered Young and that he had the evidence — but he didn’t. Boivin said the trip to GRPD was a charade to buy time.
The prosecutor went on to imply to the jury that James Chance himself disposed of Young’s head in the trash at his home — a theory Boivin had previously presented to the judge without the jury in the room, though no evidence to that effect was put forth during two and a half days of testimony this week.
When it was her turn to give a closing argument, defense attorney Laura Joyce reminded jurors that her client told investigators his son should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, that he tried to give helpful information and that he delivered his son to police.
“Jim Chance has the courage to bring his son to the police department,” she said, adding he did more than he was lawfully required to do to aid authorities.
She said prosecuting Chance was “irresponsible” and “unconscionable.”
“How dare they call him a liar?” she demanded.
The partial remains of Young, 31, of Oshtemo Township, were found later Dec. 2, 2018, in the Grand Rapids house where Chance’s son, Jared Chance, was renting an apartment.
James Chance’s other son, Konrad Chance, testified Wednesday that Jared Chance confessed to his family earlier that day that he had killed Young.
During an investigative subpoena interrogation with James Chance in December 2018, James Chance told investigators that his son said he had dumped other parts of Young’s body in trash cans around metro Grand Rapids. Her head, hands and feet have not been recovered.