Tattoo shop murder suspects face judge - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Tattoo shop murder suspects face judge

The suspects accused of raping and murdering a Memphis tattoo artist faced a judge Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, prosecutors in the case confirmed one of the suspects, Jeremy Young, is also charged with raping the tattoo artist during the deadly robbery.

After court, Lynn Duke, the mother of victim Chianne Gast, had few words to describe the suspects.

Duke said it was hard seeing her daughter's tattoo work on the bodies of the four suspects during Tuesday's hearing.   
 
"Difficult looking at my daughter's murderer in his face," she said.
 
Prosecutors claimed the suspects got tattoos from Gast and her husband, Mike, at Top Shelf Tattoo in July.
    
Then, Young demanded drugs and money at gunpoint, smashed a fire extinguisher over Mike Gast's head, and forced Chianne into another area of the business. There, prosecutors said, Young raped her and shot her in the head.
     
Duke said she wants the harshest penalty allowed for Young.  "Whatever is befitting someone taking someone's life that brutally," she said.
 
Members of Young's family said they were trying to determine if they could afford to hire high-powered attorney Leslie Ballin for Young's defense.
     
Tuesday, Ballin couldn't say if he would enter a not-guilty plea, as the other attorneys in this case plan to do.

"We will see what the proof is against Mr. Young and decide where to go from there, but at this point, it's way too early to make any comment along those lines."

Prosecutors said they would welcome a trial.

"If they still continue to protest their innocence after reviewing all the evidence that the state of Tennessee has against them, then they're entitled to a jury trial and that would be the plan," prosecutor Dean DeCandia said.

Duke said she had faith justice would be served.


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