Son questioned, denies role in Bama booster's death
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Police backed off calling the death of an Alabama football booster a homicide Wednesday, a day after investigators said he died in a fierce, bloody struggle.
A police statement referred to a continuing "death investigation" and said a ruling from the medical examiner into the cause and manner of death was pending.
The statement did not explain the change or whether investigators were considering possibilities other than murder. A police spokesman did not return a call Wednesday night.
Logan Young, who was convicted last year of bribing a high school football coach, was found dead at his Memphis home Tuesday. No arrests had been made and no suspects had been identified.
Young's son, Logan Young III, was not at the residence when his father's body was found by a housekeeper. He was located several hours later and taken to police headquarters for questioning. There, he voluntarily gave DNA samples to investigators, including fingernail scrapings, said defense lawyer Steve Farese.
Farese said his client denied any part in the death.
"He was not involved in any way and found out about it watching television," Farese said.
Crime scene crews spent most of two days in Young's house, where police said blood or traces of blood were found in several rooms.
"We're still waiting on the medical examiner's report," police Sgt. Vince Higgins said. "And quite frankly, right now, even if she ruled it a murder, we wouldn't have probable cause enough to charge anyone."
Young, a 65-year-old multimillionaire and longtime booster of Crimson Tide football, was convicted on federal charges last year of paying a high school coach up to $150,000 to send a top recruit to Alabama.
The conviction for money laundering and racketeering conspiracy capped a scandal that put Alabama on NCAA probation and cost Young his favored standing among the university's big-money boosters.
Young had a kidney transplant several months after the trial.
Young, who was divorced, lived alone much of the time. His son, Logan Young III, an only child, had apparently been staying with him off and on recently, police said.
After his federal conviction in June, Young was sentenced to six months in prison plus six months of home confinement. He was appealing the conviction and had not yet begun serving the sentence.
Former high school coach Lynn Lang, who avoided jail time by pleading guilty to conspiracy, said Young paid him thousands of dollars in cash to get defensive lineman Albert Means to sign with Alabama in 2000.
Means was not accused of wrongdoing. He stayed at Alabama one season before transferring to Memphis.
Means' recruitment became part of an NCAA investigation that resulted in sanctions against Alabama, and the university announced that Young was no longer welcome as a booster.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press