The Young Family

A family imprisoned, or the Hatfields-McCoys revisited


Clyde Sr. separated from his wife and children.Clyde Young

serving 26 years

Charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, career criminal enterprise

Clyde and Patricia Young and their eight children were living on the border of Mississippi and Alabama on land surrounded by the property of a wealthy businessman, J.P. Altmire. In 1988, Altmire wanted to purchase their land. When they refused to sell, he wrote letters to lawyers, prosecutors, and the local sheriff branding the family a bunch of "troublemakers."

Matriarch of the Young familyPatricia Young

Held behind bars, away from her family.

sentenced to 24 years, 8 months

Charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute
marijuana, career criminal enterprise, abetting


The Youngs refused to budge and in August of 1988, their eldest son was arrested for cultivating marijuana on Altmire's property. Their house was torn up with pick shovels and dogs. The police seized all the money in the house, including the children's piggy banks and a 90-year-old uncle's social security check. No drugs were found.

Two generations imprisoned, four generations harmed by these sentences.The following year, the house was raided again and the whole family was arrested, including the old uncle, Clyde's mother, sisters and brothers. At the indictment, the Young's learned that "drug residue," a scale, and a notebook containing first names and references to amounts were found in a 1986 raid at the hunt club owned by Clyde's mother.


Clyde Young, Jr.

Sentenced to 15 years.

Charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, career criminal enterprise


The Young's trial judge was Altmire's former lawyer and friend, Charles Butler. Butler did not allow the defense to admit the 36 letters Altmire sent to local authorities. Prosecution witnesses included the police chief's grandson who was facing a long prison sentence for three prior drug convictions, a witness facing 40 years for drug trafficking, and one who is now serving a seven-year sentence for perjury. Experts testified that the handwriting in the seized notebooks was not that of Patricia Young.

Clyde and Patricia Young and four of their children were found guilty of possession and conspiracy to distribute marijuana in an on-going criminal enterprise. Clyde was given 26 years. Patricia got 24 years, 8 months. Their four children received 15, 10, 5, and 3 years each.


Clyde (as the family calls him, Red Top) is still in lock up. It appears that he will not be released anytime soon.

Patsy, as we call her, has been released. While Clyde and Patsy were in lock up, both Clyde's parents, Marshall and Rosalie Young, passed away. Two of his aunts and one uncle also passed away.

Clyde, Jr. (Peanut) was released in May, 2001. His wife died of cancer two weeks after his release. He was released because of the small children and her illness.

Morris (whom we call Morsie) was released after a short time in the youth center (he was adjudicated a youthful offender), and Tom, their other son was released from Maxwell Federal Lockup after three years. Those were the three children that were involved.

The only brother involved in the arrest and conviction, David, was released about 18 months ago, and has since completed all his requirements and been totally released. David's wife at the time divorced him. He has since remarried and is very happy.

Our family has been devastated completely. If you knew them, you would know, they are peace loving, Christian people, and were very wrongly charged and convicted. As far as contacting any of them, I am not at liberty to give you their information, as this is something that they wish to put behind them.

Thank you for your efforts to make this right.