Imprisoned Alachua County cult leader died from COVID-19

CBS 4 News. Florida/October 6, 2021

By Aaron Adelson

Alachua County -- A report from the Medical Examiner lists Anna Young's cause of death as "COVID-19 pneumonia." Young led the “House of Prayer” cult in Micanopy in the early 1980s. According to state records, Young died on March 31st, 2021. She was 79-years-old.

In December 2016 young’s own daughter came forward, accusing her of torture and murder. On February 17th, Anna Young was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of Emon Harper to run concurrently with a 15-year sentence for the manslaughter of Katonya Jackson.

"She controlled all the people at the House of Prayer through fear," said Alachua County Cold Case Investigator Kevin Allen.

Yong died six weeks after her sentencing. State records show she entered state custody on February 25th, and she was serving time at the Florida Women's Reception Center in Ocala.

"A hospital band bearing the decedent's namme and a band stating 'FALL RISK' are present around the right wrist," according to the Medical Examiner's External Examination of Young.

The State Department of Corrections has not answered where Young died, and if, or when, she was transferred to a hospital.

The report lists Young's manner of death as natural. DOC data lists 423 inmates died from natural cases in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, compared to 354 in 2019-2020.

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