Dream date, violent nightmare

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Mya Kai Young

All the guy wanted was a little love.

What he got instead was robbed, stabbed and beaten within an inch of his life by the cute young woman he’d met online and her real boyfriend.

He’ll hopefully recover soon from both his broken heart and physical injuries, but it may be decades before his “date” and her paramour outrun the consequences of their alleged actions.

The two suspects were arrested Monday when investigators from the Knoxville Police Department managed to track them down, in part because the female half of the villainous couple pawned the victim’s camera in a neighboring county, according to court records.

She was identified as Mya Kai Young, 19, of Knoxville and jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond on charges of especially aggravated robbery and attempted second-degree murder.

Her alleged partner, Ethan Stone, 20, also of Knoxville, was charged with especially aggravated burglary and assault. He was being held in lieu of $51,000 bond.

According to arrest warrants filed by Investigator John Edward Stevens II of KPD’s Violent Crimes Unit, the victim was a North Knoxville man who first met Young last month through the dating app Seeking Arrangements. 

They agreed to meet at his apartment at 9:30 p.m. on May 25 and, when she arrived, she immediately asked to go to the restroom. Someone knocked on the front door and the man looked through the security keyhole, unaware that Young was sneaking up behind him with a canister of mace.

She then fell upon him with the chemical, burning his eyes and face. Half-blinded, the victim wasn’t able to effectively defend himself as Stone forced his way into the apartment and began to beat him.

“At some point, the victim was forced out the door and physically thrown down a flight of stairs,” Investigator Stevens said. “Once at the bottom of the stair steps, the defendant and co-defendant continued to physically assault the victim by kicking and striking the victim with closed fists.”

Young allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed the victim in the lower back before she and Stone tried (apparently without success) to drag the man back inside. 

Court records don’t say what brought the assault and robbery to an end, but the victim was rushed by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. 

It turned out that Young and Stone had managed to get away with their victim’s wallet, three cell phones with a combined value of around $900 and a Nikon camera worth $1,000, according to Stevens.

The victim was able to provide a picture of Young as well as a phone number that she’d used, which allowed Stevens to identify her through social media and photographs. Also, Young “pawned the victim’s Nikon camera at a pawn shop in Maryville,” the investigator said.

The victim identified Stone through a photo lineup, he said.

It might have taken several weeks to solve the case, but Knox County Magistrate Ray Jenkins approved the arrest warrants on June 11 and both suspects were in custody three days later, records show. 

Stone could face 12 years or more behind bars if he’s convicted of the burglary charge. 

Young, on the other hand, could face nearly 30 years in the state penitentiary system if she’s ultimately found guilty of the attempted murder and robbery charges.

Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in Knox County General Sessions Court on June 25. 

 J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com 

Published on June 17, 2021