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Judge says Jason Young entitled to public defenders

Posted December 17, 2009

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— A man charged in the beating death of his wife more than three years ago is entitled for court-appointed attorneys to represent him, a judge has ruled.

There were questions in court Thursday as to whether Jason Lynn Young, 35, is eligible, but Judge Donald Stephens, citing a $15 million civil judgment earlier this year, said Young does qualify. Earlier this year, Jason Young lost a wrongful death suit filed by his mother-in-law.

On Wednesday, Wake County Public Defender Bryan Collins and Assistant Public Defender Mike Klinkosum were assigned to handle Young's case. It is a standard practice in capital cases for a defendant to have two attorneys.

The state could announce as early as March whether it will seek the death penalty in the case.

Wake County sheriff's deputies arrested Young, 35, Monday in Brevard, where he has been living since the November 2006 death of his wife, Michelle Young.

Investigators haven't offered a motive for the slaying, but search warrants suggest the couple had a "volatile" marriage that included violent arguments and infidelity on his part.

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  • tiblet Dec 18, 2009

    Don't you think if Roger Smith thought he was innocent or that he could get him off (regardless of guilt/innocence) he would have taken this case pro bono just for the publicity? Guaranteed once the trial starts this will be on the news every day. WRAL will probably even stream the trial live like they did the Mike Peterson trial. I know capital murder cases are lengthy and very expensive but it seems like this would put Roger Smith on the map just like his peers: Cheshire and Wade Smith...