Harrison County District Attorney Reid McCain confirms Clinton Lee Young is in custody again for the 2001 Capital Murder of Doyle Douglas, 41, and Samuel Petrey, 52. Young was arrested on a Harrison County Capital Murder warrant while in Vicksburg, MS., by the Vicksburg Police Department and Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
According to court documents, Young, who was 18 at the time of the murders, and David Page, who was 20, went on a crime spree that involved killing the two men and stealing their cars. Douglas was killed in Harrison County, while Petrey was carjacked and kidnapped in Eastland, Texas, and killed at an oilfield site in Midland County.
The 2003 trial was held in Midland County, with two former Harrison County District Attorneys participating, current County Court at Law Judge Joe Black and Attorney Rick Berry. Black and Berry presented part of the state’s case focused on the events in Harrison County, while the Midland County District Attorney presented the part of the state’s case focused on the events in Midland. According to the Texas Tribune, Page, who received a 30-year prison sentence following a plea deal, testified that Young shot Petrey, but Young maintains his innocence and says he was framed. The Texas Tribune reports Young says he was “sleeping off a methamphetamine high” during the murder. Young was sentenced to death for the crime.
More than 15 years later, in 2019, Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf made a significant discovery during a budgeting process. She found that a recently retired assistant prosecutor, Weldon Ralph Petty, had, for more than a decade, worked simultaneously for the Midland County District Attorney’s Office and as a clerk for several of the county’s Elected District Judges. One of those judges was the judge who presided over Young’s 2003 trial. According to the Texas Tribune, Petty wrote several of the prosecution’s motions regarding Young, some of which were then denied by the judge.
The conflict of interest by the Midland prosecutor led to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturning Young’s guilty verdict on September 21, 2021, and ordering a new trial. He was ordered back to the Midland County Jail to await a decision from prosecutors on whether they would pursue a new trial. The same day, Nodolf said she had recused herself from the case and said to avoid the “appearance of a conflict,” would not participate in any other prosecution regarding Young. Petty gave up his license to practice law.
According to the Clinton Young Foundation, a foundation that advocates for the man’s innocence, Young was released from the Midland County Detention Center on January 21, 2022, after the foundation posted his bond. The foundation’s website says it crowdfunded 15% of the $150,000 cash bail.
On Friday night, the foundation released a statement on its Facebook page:
“Clinton Young’s defense lawyers learned late Friday that prosecutors had obtained a second indictment, this time in Harrison county, for the same offense for which Clinton is already facing trial in Midland county. Clinton was arrested while at work on a court-approved job in Mississippi. He has obeyed his bond conditions since his release earlier this year, and his legal team will be addressing the court in the near future about this latest effort by the prosecutors to cause him to go back to jail, even though he spent twenty years unfairly incarcerated.“
The Texas Attorney General’s Office is handling the case, and no further information is available.