Man charged in murder of Gunnison native

Jason Thomas Bates

CHURCH WELLS—The Kane County Sheriff’s Department arrested and filed murder charges against a man related to the death of a Gunnison native last week.

Matthew Wayne Young, the son of Randy and Jerolyn Christensen Young, was found dead in his home in Church Wells on the evening of Tuesday, April 13. He was buried in the Mayfield Cemetery on Tuesday, April 20. He was 49 years old at the time of his passing.

On Monday, April 26, detectives from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jason Thomas Bates in Flagstaff, Arizona in conjunction with the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Flagstaff. All information related to the arrest and charges is from a press release by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. Visit their Facebook page.

Bates’s charges include first-degree felony murder, two counts of first-degree felony discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, second-degree felony aggravated assault and third-degree possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Church Wells is an area of unincorporated county land home to around 200 people. Lieutenant Alan Alldredge described it as “like a subdivision.” Young lived there and worked at a boat shop in Big Water, 10 miles from Church Wells.

According to an obituary posted by Magleby Mortuary, Young grew up in Gunnison and graduated from Gunnison Valley High School in 1990.  He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and received the rank of Eagle Scout. After deciding he wanted to “see the world,” he followed the example of his two grandfathers and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served aboard the USS Cayuga during Desert Storm. 

Matthew Wayne Young