Attorney accused of forgery spent $1 million of inherited estate

Lead Staff Reporter

Jury members are learning how Sweetwater attorney John Young spent over one million dollars for personal expenses after a probate hearing gained him access to John Sullivan’s eight million dollar estate in June, 2014.
Last week, Michael Deadman, the temporary administrator of John Sullivan’s estate, testified under oath that a court order was signed in January 2015 when defendant John Young was ordered to turn over all assets.
The purchase of a new BMW, bank notes and debt payments were just a few transactions made just months after he inherited the estate.
Young is currently on trial in San Angelo facing forgery charges stemming from a handwritten will.
Prosecutors attempted to lay out financial responsibilities of Sullivan’s estate. This is a crucial duty that the state says was overlooked by Young when swearing to a non-debt agreement.
A handwriting expert from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sarah Pryor, had been brought in and took the stand. Pryor concluded her testimony last week saying that in her analysis, there are similarity traits in handwriting that connect to defendant Ray Zapata to the handwritten will.
Her testimony was followed by the testimony of San Angelo criminal defense attorney Joe Hernandez.
The criminal defense attorney testified to speaking with Young about Sullivan’s half sister. After the probate hearing, Hernandez learned Young was the executor of the estate.
Becoming suspicious, Hernandez then contacted Texas Ranger Nick Hanna. Hernandez said that he knew Sullivan would not have left his estate to a lawyer.
The book that held the handwritten will was cut out of was admitted into evidence by Young’s defense attorney.