Missionary killer sentenced

| March 30, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY — LDS Church officials said they are constantly concerned about the safety of their 52,000 missionaries serving around the world.

The statement was issued Monday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after the sentencing of James Boughton, Jr., 23, in Virginia. Boughton was found guilty by jurors in 2008 of the shooting death of Morgan W. Young, of Bountiful, in January 2006 in Deep Creek, Va.

Boughton was sentenced Monday in Circuit Court, Va., to serve 38 years and six months in state prison.

"We assure those currently serving missions or who are contemplating missionary service that the Church will continue to make every effort to safeguard the health and safety of missionaries throughout the world," said Scott Trotter, a church spokesman.

Boughton was also convicted of wounding Joshua Heidbrink, of Greeley, Colo. The pair were shot while knocking on doors in the Virginia area.

Church officials have not changed safety policies since the shooting, but constantly monitor the 348 missions where members are serving.

Violence and accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, church officials said in a news release. The area where the two men were in 2006 was considered safe.

Trotter said missionaries are trained in personal safety at each of the church's 16 missionary training centers, as well as at zone conferences and district meetings throughout the world.

Church officials stay in contact with local church leaders and members about the safety of specific areas and neighborhoods, Trotter said.

Missionaries are also instructed to carry only enough cash to cover that day's needs and, if accosted, they are trained to avoid confrontation and to give up whatever money they have, Trotter said.

Young was the oldest of Mark and Kathy Young's four children. He graduated from Bountiful High School and was an Eagle Scout. He was enrolled at Weber State University before leaving for a mission in March 2004. He planned to study computer science at Brigham Young University after returning from his mission, according to news stories.



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Category: Mission Trip/Missionary Security