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Oct 19, 2016

United Democratic Party Remembers Michael Young, S.C.

Michael Young

The untimely death of prominent attorney, Michael Young, continues to rattle the community. A man, highly respected and well liked, took his life on Tuesday after having lunch at his home in Bella Vista, Belize City. His wife found him dead in the bathroom and his licensed gun near his body. Speculation abounds of what led him to that point, but there is no confirmation why he would commit suicide. Today, those close to him in his party and profession spoke glowing of Young. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Today, the legal fraternity is in mourning and so are the loved ones of preeminent Belizean attorney Michael Young.  The sixty-one-year-old career lawyer was found motionless inside his home on Tuesday afternoon in the Bella Vista neighborhood.  Although police would not divulge the extent of his injury, it soon became apparent that Young had succumbed to a single gunshot wound suffered after turning his licensed firearm on himself.  Friends and colleagues within the hierarchy of the United Democratic Party recall receiving the ominous message.

 

Marilyn Williams, Central Executive, U.D.P.

“I’m starting to resent social [media] network.  I was at my office and, as a matter of fact, was on the phone with another attorney and we had been talking about Mike.  The last conversation that we had and because of the legal issue we were discussing and that attorney received another phone call and she asked me, could she call me back and I said yes.  And then one of my staff members came and said which prominent attorney lives in Bella Vista.”

 

Immediately, Marilyn Williams’ mind went on Michael Young.  Little did she know however, that what was about to come would be details of a most disturbing incident.

 

Marilyn Williams

Marilyn Williams

“I said, “Michael Young.”  And I said why, and then someone ran out from another office and said they’re saying that, you know, some prominent attorney from Bella Vista is dead and I just lost it.”

 

Young, himself a member of the Central Executive of the United Democratic Party, had fatally shot himself to the right side of the temple with a loaded nine millimeter pistol.  His wife Denise made the shocking discovery.  Moments later, she would be joined at the residence by a group of close friends, including Pearl Stuart.

 

Pearl Stuart

Pearl Stuart, Family Friend

“I was most saddened yesterday because I believe that we not only lost a friend, but Belize has lost a great contributor to its development.  My heart goes out to the family, his very close friends, of which he had many.  I think that we have seen that once the word got out the sadness that it brought to the nation, it brought a sadness.  So, I will miss him.  I will truly miss him.”

 

For those who may be unfamiliar with the well-regarded lawyer, Senior Counsel Michael Young and his eponymous law firm are an institution in downtown Belize City.  His office on Regent Street is a stone’s throw away from the seat of the judiciary where the esteemed attorney was always seen headed to court lugging a carry case stuffed with legal documents.  Pearl Stuart has been a friend of the family since the early eighties.

 

Pearl Stuart

“I have known Michael to be kind, to be humble, to be very astute with the human side of people.  He believed in equality and balance, albeit politically, albeit with family and with friends.  We’ve had, we’ve shared good times and we’ve shared sad times.  I loved to share with him a time that I had spent when his father was alive and I would visit Bird’s Isle and his father would tell me about his own legal history, particularly a very famous matter that they had with a priest and I think he felt so good to know that he was following in his father’s footsteps and he has made his own mark in the legal profession.”

 

From a political perspective, Mike, as he is known, was a stalwart of the U.D.P.; versed in the party’s history and always ready to share insight on activities within the organization.

 

Marilyn Williams

“Mike was very good at giving you not only a present perspective, legal, but he also was very rich in the history of the party and whenever an issue arose, and we were friends, as well as colleagues, as well as mutual members of the U.D.P. and often times, you know, I would call him or he would call me and we would discuss some present situation and I could always rely on him. Yesterday will go down as one of mine and the party’s darkest day.  You know, we obviously are having a hard time coping with this.  I certainly am having a hard time coping with it but the party has lost one of its most valuable people that, you know, I won’t say that they will ever have but certainly someone who was always ever ready to lend a helping hand and that is not something that can be replaced.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

This evening, the Bar Association issued a statement mourning the passing of Senior Counsel Michael Young.  The release goes on to state, “He was undoubtedly an iconic practitioner of the law and the Bar Association of Belize acknowledges his stellar contributions to the development of Belizean jurisprudence. Michael was passionate about the law but he was also passionate about his beloved country – Belize.”

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