Mankato man found guilty on over 20 counts, including murder

Court records show a Mankato man was found guilty on Thursday for the death of a 2-year-old in April 2021.

18-year-old Lee Wayne Young Jr. was convicted by a jury of over 20 charges, including first-degree murder and criminal sexual conduct. He was indicted by a grand jury in August of 2021 on over two dozen charges.

Three of those charges were dismissed prior to trial, including a kidnapping charge that Young faced, court records show.

A criminal complaint states that on April 16, law enforcement from Mankato responded to a threats complaint, where they observed Young and a young girl outside of a home.

Shortly after, another officer was driving by to provide help when he saw a witness outside, screaming and waving her arms at him, the complaint states. The witness told the officer that something was wrong with her son, and he wasn’t breathing.

A second witness brought the son, a two-and-a-half-year-old, outside as the boy’s mother yelled, “The dogs did it,” the complaint adds.

The boy was taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System, where he was pronounced dead. He had significant bruising to his face, head, chest, back, and legs, as well as evidence of traumatic injuries due to sexual assault, according to court records. The medical examiner for the hospital told officers that the boy had too many bruises to count.

The complaint states that when officers searched the home, they found a webcam in the victim’s room as well as blood on a towel and sheet.

Young was a teenager at the time of the crime.

In ensuing interviews with all three witnesses and Young, law enforcement noted that Young’s timeline did not align with the others. The complaint added that the boy’s mother eventually provided law enforcement access to an app on her phone that uses the webcam before telling officials she believed Young was responsible for the boy’s death.

Young is set to be sentenced on June 30 at 8:30 a.m. in Blue Earth County Court.