Judge denies missing boy's step-mom's request to delay mom's lawsuit

Judge denies missing boy's step-mom's request to delay mom's lawsuit
Desiree Young and her lawyer Elden Rosenthal (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. - A judge has denied a request by Terri Horman to delay a civil lawsuit brought by Desiree Young that could force Horman to reveal the location of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman.

In a motion filed July 25 to hold the case in abatement, Terri Horman said the civil suit seeks facts that could lead to a criminal prosecution and is claiming via her attorney that her rights to self-incrimination are violated if the civil case moves forward.

She wanted the judge to stay the case by two years.

The suit (PDF), filed by Kyron Horman's biological mother Desiree Young, seeks $10 million and asks a judge to order Terri Horman to return Kyron or, if he's dead, say where his remains are located.

The civil lawsuit accuses Horman of kidnapping Kyron, by herself or with help.

On Wednesday, Young's attorney said the reason this case was filed two years after Kyron's disappearance was because Young gave the criminal justice system the chance to do something and nothing was done.

Terri Horman's attorney argued the lawsuit assumes to take over law enforcement's investigation into the disappearance and could influence at jury.

Young's attorney argued the Desiree has a constitutional right to know the location of or what happened to her son.

Civil allegations require a lower standard of proof — a preponderance of evidence — than criminal charges, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

On Wednesday, the judge said he will set parameters for the proceedings to protect the constitutional rights of Terri Horman.

Kyron went missing in June of 2010 when he did not come home from school. Terri Horman said she dropped him off at a science fair at the school in the morning. Photos of Kyron in front of his science fair project on tree frogs were some of the last pictures taken of the boy.

The school, located on the outskirts of Portland, did not have a video security system at the time.

Law enforcement continues to investigate the disappearance. Kyron's father has said in the past he believes his son is still alive.