A 20-year-old woman who police believe deliberately crashed a car on the afternoon of Feb. 25 during an argument with her boyfriend was indicted on four counts of attempted murder last week.
Charging documents reveal that the argument between Brittany Nichole Young, of Inwood, W. Va., and John Henry Burnham III, 40, was in part fueled by drugs and alcohol. According to statements made to police by Young and her sister, Heather Young, all five individuals in the car had been drinking, and all but one had taken an ecstasy pill.
Statements from Burnham and back-seat passengers Heather Young and Brittany Maria Breeden each conclude that Brittany Young yelled "I will kill us all" before yanking the steering wheel of Burnham's silver Crown Ford Victoria, causing the vehicle to stike a guardrail and go airborne near the intersection of Route 32 and Burntwoods Road, injuring all five passengers.
According to the charging documents, Brittany Young told police, "I feel real bad, I hate myself now." Young also told police that during the argument "I was drunk, I didn't know what I was doing."
In a letter to Breeden, which was included in the charging documents, Brittany Young wrote: "I didn't mean for the accident to happen while you was around. I didn't want to hurt you! I was meaning to hurt John."
However, the documents also reveal that each passenger has a somewhat different perspective of the events leading up to the argument.
According to Burnham and Breeden, Young got upset when Burnham —who is married— threatened to break up with her. Burnham told police that Young has made "several threats" to kill him if he ever leaves her, charging documents state.
"Brittany wanted to get smart with John and start an argument, like always,'" Breeden told police, according to charging documents. Breeden said that Young began threatening to crash the car during the argument, which is when Burnham threatened to break up with her. Then, according to Breeden's statements to police, Young stated "I'll kill myself over you ... I'll just kill us all."
But according to Brittany Young and her sister, the collision was preceded by physical abuse.
Heather Young said that Burnham struck her sister in the face and leg and pulled her hair.
"He kept punching her," Heather Young said, later telling police "He's trying to say my sister had an attitude."
Brittany Young told police that Burnham never threatened to break-up with her, but instead beat her five times that day.
"He ripped me by my hair," she told police, according to charging documents. "That what happened and I put that on my dead grandfather."
According to Heather Young, Breeden didn't tell police about the assault because she is now dating Burnham.
According to court records, Burnham was convicted of theft by a Howard County jury in 2009, and in 2003 he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. In 2008, Burnham was given a probation before judgment for a DUI and 2009 he was given a five-day sentence for another DUI. Additionally, Burnham has been charged several times with assault and child abuse, aside from the 2003 case, but those charges were either dropped by prosecutors or put on an inactive docket.
A Howard County Grand jury also indicted Brittany Young with four counts of first- and second-degree assault.