NC court to hear Jason Young's appeal for new trial
Posted December 11, 2013
Updated December 12, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The conviction of a Raleigh man found guilty last year in the 2006 murder of his pregnant wife is expected to go before the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Thursday.
Jason Young, 39, was convicted March 5, 2012, of first-degree murder in the beating death of Michelle Young, who was found in a pool of blood by the side of her bed.
The appeal has to do with several decisions Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens made during the seven-week trial, including whether he should have allowed testimony regarding a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michelle Young’s family, as well as a lawsuit regarding the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy.
Other testimony that jurors should not have been permitted to hear, Jason Young’s appellate attorney argues, is that of a daycare worker who said she watched Cassidy, six days after the crime, re-enact her mother’s attack using dolls.
Michelle Young, 29, who was five months’ pregnant, suffered at least 30 distinct blows, mostly to her head, according to a medical examiner’s testimony,
Jason Young was arrested three years after the crime and initially went to trial in 2011. Stephens, however, declared a mistrial when the jury deadlocked on a verdict.
The issues raised in his appeal have to do with testimony that was presented at retrial and not the original trial.
Jason Young has maintained he was away on business in Virginia at the time and that his wife’s killer has never been caught.
Defense attorneys argued there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime and that evidence at the home suggested someone other than Jason Young could have killed Michelle Young.
But the state argued that the couple's marriage was troubled and that Jason Young, pressured by the responsibilities of marriage and family, wanted out of the relationship.
The night before his wife's death, prosecutors said, he checked into a hotel just over the Virginia border and then drove back to his home and committed the crime before returning to Virginia to continue on with his trip.
Michelle Young’s sister discovered her sister's body more than nine hours later, as well as Cassidy, unharmed, hiding beneath the covers of her parents' bed.