Case of South Shore man’s Arizona murder sees delays

Isaac Brambila

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — Case of South Shore man’s Arizona murder sees delays A Maricopa County court delayed a trial setting hearing for a man accused of participating in the alleged attempt to dispose of the body of South Shore man Matthew McMaster.

Randall Lee Young was scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a trial setting hearing, but a joint motion to continue the matter by both the prosecution and defense pushed the date back, according to court documents.

The court scheduled a new trial setting hearing for Feb. 17.

Young was previously scheduled to begin trial on Thursday, but a motion to extend time to challenge grand jury proceedings caused a delay.

According to court documents from an early November pretrial hearing, a plea offer has not been made. The same documents suggest the trial will last between six and eight court days. The jury is expected to hear testimony from between 15 and 20 witnesses.

Furthermore, the prosecution is requesting an aggravating factors trial to the jury, which could increase the penalty if Young is found guilty.

Young is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 10 for a final trial management conference. He was indicted by a grand jury in August on charges of abandoning or concealing a dead body.

Young’s indictment came more than a year after McMaster’s death because investigators had not found conclusive evidence linking him to the alleged crime. They eventually found DNA evidence recovered near where McMaster’s burned body was found and took the evidence to a grand jury, which returned an indictment.

Co-defendant Vrouyr Manoukian’s Feb. 4 trial date was affirmed during a Monday case management hearing. Manoukian will face trial for charges of second-degree murder and abandoning or concealing a dead body.

He is scheduled to appear in court for an evidentiary hearing on Jan. 9.

McMaster reportedly died during an alleged physical altercation with Young and Manoukian at the residence he shared with Manoukian in Phoenix, Arizona, according to a probable cause report filed with the Maricopa County Superior Court. Manoukian is suspected of delivering the deadly blow.

According to an autopsy report, McMaster died from blunt force trauma to the head.

His remains were found tied up resting on a love seat and burned along with other furniture items in Phoenix, Arizona in July 2012.

McMaster had moved from the Tahoe area to Phoenix to attend school and lived with Manoukian for several months before his death.

He was raised in the South Shore and attended George Whittell High School.

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