South Carolina murderer sentenced for trying to kill ex-wife from prison in bomb plot, prosecutors say

A South Carolina murderer will likely now die in prison after getting busted in an FBI sting operation in which he tried to kill his ex-wife by purchasing a mail order bomb from an undercover agent posing as a Russian arms dealer on the “Dark Web.”

Michael Young of Lexington County, who is currently serving a 50-year sentence in a state prison for gunning down the woman’s father, was sentenced Monday to another 43 years for his role in the conspiracy plot. He is 32 years old and after his first sentence ends in 2057, the new one will begin, Columbia’s The State newspaper reported.

“He created this scheme,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Lewis told a judge during sentencing, according to the newspaper. “It was sadistic. It was cruel.”

Young first ended up in jail after firing at his estranged wife in a South Carolina parking lot in 2007, wounding her and killing her 49-year-old father, Robert Lynn Bell, who was trying to protect her.


Four years later, Young's attorney, John Delgado, said Young felt remorse for the killing and is “a completely different person now.” His ex-wife remarried and relocated to Florida, The State reported.

But Young apparently was still intent on hurting her, and, through a cell phone he had illegally smuggled into prison, Young started swapping emails with an undercover FBI agent in hopes of getting a package bomb delivered to her new address that would explode upon opening, investigators say.

The agent – whom Young met on the Internet’s seedy “Dark Web” – was posing as a Russian arms dealer and actually was trying to hunt down cyber criminals, The State reported, citing testimony from the trial.

The newspaper says the pair communicated for months while the FBI created a fake bomb and sent it to a Columbia-area co-conspirator in June 2017, who then dropped it off at a post office on Young’s behalf, under the belief that it would reach its intended destination in the Sunshine State.

The FBI is reported to have then swooped in and arrested the co-conspirators, busting the alleged plot.


“My children are always eager to open up packages, and this could have killed them,” the ex-wife’s mother, Shauna Clark, told a courtroom on Monday, according to The State. “This has been devastating to my family.”

Young, following his new sentencing, said “I am sorry... I stand before you today to take responsibility for what I have done.”