According to court records, in the early hours of November 2, 2021, seventy-year old Ronald Stephens of Port Townsend arrived at Jefferson General Hospital and reported that he awoke to being struck in the head multiple times with a hatchet. Mr. Stephens reported that the attacker was his wife, Anna Young of Mill Creek. Law enforcement responded to the scene and commenced an investigation. Detective Jon Stuart of the Port Townsend Police Department led a team of investigators that included Jefferson County Sheriff Detectives, Sequim Detectives, and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. Approximately eight hours after the assault, Ms. Young appeared at PTPD station and called 911 to report her husband had attempted to murder her and she was taken into custody.
November 3, 2021, Ms. Young was charged with assault in the first degree with a deadly weapon and interfering with a 911 call. For the next eighteen months the Court decide multiple pre-trial motions and then on May 30, 2023, the trial began.
Testimony showed that Mr. Stephens had been married to Ms. Young for just over two years. Due to a marital dispute, Mr. Stephens agreed to transfer $60,000 into Ms. Young’s personal bank account. As part of the agreement, Ms. Young would get a portion of the money if Mr. Stephens divorced her. Several weeks later, Ms. Young transferred all of the money to her brother for the purchase of a home for their mother. Shortly after the transfer, Mr. Stephens asked to see if the money was still in the account and Ms. Young declined to show him the account balance. The following morning Mr. Stephens woke up to “pain.” According to his testimony the pain was caused by Ms. Young who was striking him with a sheathed hatchet, saying “you are having a dream.” Eventually Mr. Stephens left the bedroom and was able to grab a cast iron pan to defend himself. The crime lab testified that there was blood drops and blood spatter throughout the house.
After a month-long trial, the parties argued their cases to the jury. The State argued the assault was triggered by the demand to see the missing money. The defense argued the defendant had her own money and there was no evidence as to who started the incident. After
less than three hours the jury found the Defendant guilty of Assault in the First Degree with a Deadly Weapon.
Prosecutor James Kennedy thanked his team for the hard work that led to a conviction for the brutal assault. Mr. Kennedy thanked the trial team for carrying the case to a successful conclusion and thanked the rest of his team for working together to keep the office running smoothly during the complicated trial.
After the conviction the defendant remained free on bail while awaiting sentencing which is set for August 4, 2023.
For further information contact Chris Ashcraft at the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office.