GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Kent County judge denied bond Friday for Jared Chance, the 29-year-old Grand Rapids man now charged with murder and mutilation of a body after 31-year-old Ashley Young was found dead in his home.
Chance's attorney, Andrew Rodenhouse, said after Friday's court appearance that he and his client had been anticipating the murder charges for "quite some time."
Prosecutors charged Chance with open murder, which Rodenhouse said could be anything from something negligent to something intentional.
Rodenhouse later said his client plead not guilty to all charges.
"It's not a matter of having a defense, it's whether or not the prosecution can prove without a reasonable doubt," Rodenhouse said. "He's presumed innocent and a lot of good men and women died for that right, and the courts are going to the prosecutor to the proofs, and we intend to hold them to their proofs."
Rodenhouse also said his heart goes out to both the families of Ashley Young and Jared Chance.
Some tension was visible in court Friday between members of Ashley Young's family and a woman Chance's defense attorney, Andrew Rodenhouse, confirms used to be in a relationship with Chance.
Kristine Young, Ashley's mother, stared Chance's ex down after the woman said something to the group in court before the hearing.
Afterward, Young's family and the women gathered outside the elevators of the courthouse's 7th floor on the way out when a short shouting match unfolded. The woman at one point telling a member of Young's group, "I'm not the one who caused this, so you get out of my face, alright."
Deputies had to resolve the conflict, which we're told was not physical in nature.
"It's always emotional when there's a murder because people have lost a loved one and somebody is being accused of doing it," Rodenhouse said. "But that's why it's important that we have the process, and the process is the court system, and keeping an orderly court is part of that."
Ashley Young's family declined to comment about the case or the interaction involving Chance's ex.
Before the hearing, Judge Jennifer Faber addressed the tension in court telling both sides that outbursts would not be tolerated in her courtroom.
The hearing itself lasted only minutes and without incident as Faber explained the updated charges to Chance.
He was arraigned Friday on one charge of open murder and three counts of tampering with evidence in a criminal case punishable by more than 10 years. Because Chance is a fourth habitual offender, the penalties he faces are enhanced to up to life in prison.
Faber then asked Chance if he understood the charges and penalties, to which Chance replied, "yes, your honor."
Court documents released Thursday detail what police believe happened to the body of Ashley Young after she died.
Chance has been held by police since early December, shortly after Young's mutilated body was found in the basement of a home in Grand Rapids, at 922 Franklin Street Southeast. Jared Chance's parents, James and Barbara Chance of Holland, also face criminal charges, due to what police label as attempts to hide Young's body.
After he was arrested Dec. 4, Jared Chance was charged with mutilation of a body and concealing the death of an individual.
In probable cause affidavits, which outline reasons for the arrest and criminal charges, investigators said they spoke to several witnesses who heard Jared Chance brag that he knew how to commit a murder and get away with it. Also detailed in the documents obtained by Newschannel 3: Police said they found a box with body parts in a stairwell of the home where Chance lived. Additionally, under a couch in the Holland, Michigan, home of James and Barbara Chance, investigators found a saw they believe was used in the mutilation.
James and Barbara Chance are each charged with perjury and being accessories after the fact.
Police said Barbara Chance picked up her son at his apartment and loaded boxes into the car. Police said traces of human blood and tissue were later found in the car.
Several .22-caliber casings were found near the victim's body, police said; and several people, including Jared's neighbor, said they saw Jared Chance playing with a .22-caliber revolver. The neighbor told police he felt unsafe.